There are two kinds of people, the ones that love winter and those who hate it and can’t wait to see the summer coming. It’s the same with dogs. Some of them can play in the snow for hours, and others are heading home after five minutes outside. Either way, we have to pay more attention to our dog during the winter season.
In the first place, the dog paws require special attention. In winter, the roads and pavements are covered by salt and grit to make it safe for walkers and cars. Unfortunately, it is not safe for dogs and their paws. Apart from claws, dog paws also have soft cushions which can be irritated by the salt and become very sensitive or even cracked. The first thing we need to do is to wipe the paws dry with a clean cloth or towel after each walking. Another important thing is to treat the paws with a protective cream. The cream shouldn’t contain water because it could have the opposite effect.
As it was written in the previous article, some dogs are not adapted to the low winter temperatures and need some help. Protective outfits certainly help. We don’t mean any denim ensemble with a hood but protective blanket that covers the back and partly the abdomen. Also, you can consider buying protective boots for dogs that spend a lot of time outside doing some sports. These boots help especially to mushing dogs because they are running long distances on snow and their paws could be frostbitten.
It would seem that a dog that lives outside in pen the whole year doesn’t need any special care. That’s not true. In winter, these dogs need more of subcutaneous fat to keep themselves warm. Therefore, we should increase the food ration and a slightly heated small morning dose of food will help too. The morning warm variant may contain granules with a non-salted meat broth or meat with warm rice or pasta. Another important thing is the kennel itself. It should be thermally insulated. In winter it is convenient to cover the entrance with cloth belts to prevent leaking of the heat generated inside. Also, it is good to put some bedding in the kennel. Very suitable is straw or wooden straw which has excellent insulation effect and doesn’t remain wet. Some people put a blanket or old carpet but this solution is not suitable. The cloth gets wet very fast and then it freezes, and thus provides no insulation and it becomes a trouble instead.
There are a few things that a dog shouldn’t do in winter. Attention should be given to eating snow. The dog’s stomach doesn’t endure the cold snow well and can be irritated. Sometimes, however, this phenomenon means that the dog is thirsty. Therefore, it is appropriate to take a thermos flask with a water of room temperature for walks with you. Last but not least, bathing is a thing we should be thinking of more. It is necessary to let the dog get dry after bathing. The change of temperature is difficult and can be dangerous so keep in mind to plan the bathing well.