As we reach for our jumpers, extra blankets and heaters, one thing is clear–winter is well and truly here. While it's relatively easy for us to stay warm during the colder months, our canine companions can use some help.
With this in mind, here are our top 5 tips to help your dog stay warm and healthy this winter.
1. Make sure your dog has somewhere warm to sleep, preferably off the floor and away from drafts. Remember that, like humans, dogs with achey joints can suffer more in cold weather, so make sure the dog bed is not so high off the ground that the dog struggles to use it.
If you have an indoor dog, a warm dog bed and blanket should do the trick. If you have an outdoor dog, make sure they have a kennel or enclosure that protects them from the elements. Also add a dry, clean blanket for extra warmth. If you know it is going to be a particularly cold night, consider bringing your dog indoors.
2. Whenever possible, it is important to take regular walks with your dog, but how do you know if it's too cold outside? A good rule of thumb is, if it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your dog. However, even on the coldest days, it's important to keep your dog active. Keep them busy indoors with toys like balls.
3. During winter, it's advisable to bathe your dog less often. Your dog's skin can get dry and flaky in winter, and excessive washing can exacerbate the condition.
If your dog must be washed, talk to your vet about a gentle shampoo to help maintain the moisture in your dog's skin.
4. Don't shave your dog during winter. A longer coat will provided added warmth during the colder months. If you have a long-haired dog, a simple trim will suffice. If you have a short-haired dog, or a dog that is older or particularly thin, you might want to consider some extra layers when taking them out for a walk. Which brings us to tip number 5.
5. Consider getting a dog coat. If you think dog coats are merely a fashion accessory, think again. As mentioned in tip 4, dogs with short hair, or who are older or thin can benefit from a coat in winter. Look for a coat that covers your dog from its neck, to the base of its tale, and down to its belly. So your dog doesn't overheat, make sure you remove the coat as soon as your dog is back, cozy and warm inside.
Following these tips will help your dog stay safe, warm, comfortable and healthy this winter.
With thanks to Delta Society Australia