Winter brings some specific dangers and care needs for our animal companions. Your dog may already have a fur coat on, but that doesn’t mean he’s impervious to cold! In this article, a local Beaufort, NC vet discusses winter care for dogs.
Some dogs have to burn extra calories in winter to keep warm. Fido may need a bit more in his dinner bowl during the cold months, especially if he is a working dog, a puppy, or a senior, or spends a lot of time outside. Dogs with painful bone/joint issues, such as arthritis, may benefit from certain supplements and therapeutic treatments. Ask your vet for specific dietary recommendations.
Overgrown claws can make it hard for your furry friend to walk on slippery ice, and can also affect his gait. Be sure to keep your canine pal’s nails trimmed. If you’re uneasy doing it yourself, just call us to schedule a quick ‘peticure’ session.
Pick up a reflective leash and collar to use when walking your dog after dusk. You’ll also want to be careful when walking your canine pal near frozen lakes and ponds. Don’t let Fido run out onto thin ice!
Keep Fido warm and cozy inside as much as possible when it’s cold out, and make sure he has a good, comfy bed. If your pet is a senior or a large breed, invest in a good orthopedic bed. Dogs that have thin fur or bone/joint problems may enjoy the soothing warmth of a heated bed.
Brush Fido regularly to keep his coat free of mats and tangles that would otherwise diminish the warming qualities of his fur.
Dogs with thick fur, like huskies, can overheat in clothing, but pups with thin coats need some extra protection from the cold. Consider getting your canine friend a doggy sweater to keep him warm on cold days. Just be careful not to put your pet in anything that is too tight or that restricts his movements.
Walking on salt, sand, and ice can cause painful scrapes and burns on Fido’s furry feet, so use paw balm or wax to protect his paws. Also, keep those cute toe fur tufts trimmed back so they don’t get matted.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Call us, your local Beaufort, NC veterinary hospital, today!