Our friends at Canidae Dog Food have put together some great info & tips on keeping your dog cozy this winter. We hope you find it as helpful as we did! And don’t forget, you can find Canidae & many other fine foods & products at Woodard Mercantile.
The change in seasons can be a tricky transition for pets. Freezing temperatures limit those lengthy neighborhood walks, and fewer hours of daylight can seriously interrupt your dog’s afternoon snooze in the sunshine. Consider these suggestions for keeping your dog happy this winter:
1. Provide Winter Bedding
Now is the time to switch out your dog’s bedding. Provide warm, soft beds and heavy blankets if your home is kept cool. My dogs like the feel of an electric blanket, but these are not recommended for chewers. They should not get wet, so keep them away from dogs that have “accidents.” Look for heating pads and blankets especially made for use with dogs, as they are manufactured with a pet’s needs in mind.
Outdoor dogs need bedding that will keep them warm and dry. Dog beds and blankets may not work because they can get wet and freeze. Clean, dry straw may be the best choice for dogs that live outdoors. Better yet, bring them indoors for the cold months!
2. Extra Calories
The stress of cold weather can cause dogs to burn calories faster. Consider adding a little bit of extra food to your dog’s dish, and be sure that the food is high quality, such as the recipes in the CANIDAE® lineup. However, don’t overfeed. Monitor your dog’s weight and adjust his or her food quantity accordingly. Also consider mixing your dog’s food with warm water before serving for an added touch of comfort.
3. Winter Grooming
Daily attention to dogs’ coats and feet is necessary in wet, snowy climates. Remember that ice and snow can accumulate between the toes, which can be irritating. Look for cracked skin on the paw pads, and itchy, flaky skin throughout the body. Chemicals from de-icing products, salt, and tiny rocks should be removed immediately. Wipe the paws every time you return from a walk.
4. Air “Conditioning”
While the outdoor air may feel crisp and clean, indoor air can be especially dry. This can cause sinus problems and weaken the immune system. If you notice your own dry nose or slight headaches, your dog is probably feeling dehydrated, too. Provide a humidifier in areas where your dog lives and sleeps.
5. Water Works
Make sure to provide a continual supply of clean drinking water. This will help keep your dog hydrated and feeling good. If temperatures drop below freezing, be sure to provide fresh water to outside dogs throughout the day.
6. Stylin’ Fashion
If your dog is small or short-coated, consider providing sweaters or coats for winter wear. Clothing can keep your dog warm during wicked weather and encourage him or her to tolerate those necessary walks. You can have some fun with this project, discovering the many outfits available for dogs. Is Rocky a rock star? Consider a leather jacket. Is Princess ready for befitting gowns and hats? Is Sophia a budding ballerina? Get her a tutu, or look for a fun holiday outfit for everyone in your family.