Here at Hafod Y Bryn Boarding Kennels in Abergele, we have certainly noticed the drastic change in temperature, which can mean only one thing. As the nights grow darker and the weather gets colder in winter, we all begin to make preparations for ourselves, our homes and even our cars! We buy ourselves hats, scarves, gloves and anti-freeze to battle the frost, but with all thatpreparation, sometimes our beloved dogs can fall by the wayside. Some of us may think that the natural furry coats of our pets means that there is no need to prepare them for colder weather, after all, those coats are there to protect them from that cold weather, right?
Unfortunately, that is incredibly wrong, and our furry friends need as much care and attention, as we do as those winter months, descend upon us. It is vitally important to ensure that the necessary precautions have been carried out to guarantee the protection of your dog when it’s most difficult for them to protect themselves.
Here we will look into several key factors regarding precautionary measures that can be made in advance to provide them with everything they need this winter!
Believe it or not, a dog will become just as dehydrated during the colder months as they would during the warmer months. Providing them with regular fresh water is of vital importance so definitely do not take the colder temperature for granted, fill up that water bowl! If your dog predominantly stays outdoors, remember that snow is not a suitable substitution for fresh water. Speaking of snow – water freezes, so make sure to change the fresh water regularly, your dog wants a drink, not an ice lolly!
If your dog remains outdoors for a majority of his or her time or is a working dog, the cold weather will increase the number of calories they burn as their body uses much more energy trying to keep a regular temperature. This means they require quality food from a proper pet shop designed for consumption by dogs, not some second-rate supermarket brand! Reading the nutrient information on the back is important in order to provide them with the highest quality food.
After a long winter walk with your dog, make sure you clean their paws to prevent the build-up of salt and grit from the pavement that is used to de-ice the roads. Salt build-up can enter small cuts and scrapes your dog will naturally acquire and cause them a great deal of distress. Cleaning their paws thoroughly with a warm towel will ensure you have a very happy puppy!
Just because your dog more than likely came with a natural furry coat already attached, that does not mean this will be enough! A lot of smaller dogs will need an additional coat to protect them from the cold or bigger dogs that spend a lot of their time outdoors. Hypothermia is incredibly common with dogs and their size does not matter. Hypothermia can occur with even the biggest dogs with thick coats, so providing them with an extra layer and suitable shelter is vitally important to their health at this time of year.
You may find yourself slacking with dog grooming during winter. It’s understandable; constant rain, mud and dirt during daily walks may deter you from carrying out your usual grooming methods. However, grooming is important as dogs nails become more brittle in colder temperatures and can tear or break in the icy snow, causing your dog a great deal of pain.
Taking care of their natural coat is also important, as a well-groomed coat will provide maximum protection from the winter weather.
Taking care of your dog during winter requires slightly more care and attention. This may seem taxing, however, knowing your friend is protected from the harshness of winter should be enough motivation to push through and give them what they need.