Unlike humans, pets do not enjoy the flexibility of pulling out their blankets from the wardrobe when the temperature takes a sudden fall. Without pet owners knowing that their dogs might be shivering in the cold, there are many cases when pets were found in dreadful conditions the night after. Pets do need protection during winters and preparing your dog for winter is your responsibility as a pet parent.
Pets are like kids who need our supervision when the winter arrives. Some parts of the world enjoy moderate winters. However, there are places where winters make everything stop. The snowfalls and cold breeze are hazardous enough to put every breathing life in danger. So, giving some extra attention to the needs of your pet during winters will save you and your pet from a huge distress later.
You must also know that dog’s adaptability to the cold also differs as per their breed. There are breeds like huskies and few others that easily adapt to the cold climate. However, the smaller breeds with less coat to cover them properly during winters require our help. You must keep dogs warm in winter if they are vulnerable to the cold climate. It is equally important to introduce your pets to the instant change in the weather and help them adapt to the cold.
Why is it important preparing your dog for winter?
As I have mentioned above, pets need care and protection during winters. And, there are many reasons why winters are challenging for pets too.
Here is why you should get some extra blankets, dog winter boots and other stuffs to let your pet experience a cosy and warm winter.
Dogs with Arthritis and Diabetes Problems: If your pet suffers from arthritis or diabetes, it becomes even more important to protect them from chilling cold. Even when the dog breed you own has thick coat, you need to ensure they have sweaters and blankets that cover their chest and abdomen. Problems like arthritis and diabetes surges in cold weather. And, it could lead to severe health hazards if aren’t considered.
Chances of Licking Antifreeze or De-Icers: We usually use antifreeze at home and de-icers are scattered outdoors as well during winters. These are poisonous for pets and we should be careful during winters while taking our pet outside for a walk. Either you find the places where these harmful chemicals are not used. Or, keep an eye on your pet when walking it outside.
Danger of Frozen Water: In winters, the ice and frozen water is a huge concern. The thin layer of ice can become the reason for drowning. Unfortunately, many pets die because of the same reason in winters. So, as a pet owner its your responsibility to keep your pets away from these dangerous areas during winters.
Dogs may poop in the house: Winters come with many challenges for humans as well as pets. When pets feel cold, they do not like going out and poop inside the house. Hence, you need to comfort them with warm clothes and sweaters to keep them warm while they are outside. Otherwise, you would end up cleaning their poop for most of the season.
Paws are highly vulnerable: When walking your pet outside, you may have to walk your pet on the snow. If that happens, there are chances of snow getting stuck in between of their nails or inside the paw. If your pet has long hair on the paw, it may get wet after the walk. These can cause serious cold problems in your pet. Hence, you must buy booties or ensure to wash your pet’s paw after every walk.
How to help Pets adjust with the cold?
You should start your training right from the beginning of the cold season. After you realize a change in the temperature, you must kick off the initial training for your pet to understand and adjust with the cold weather later.
Increase the outdoor intervals gradually
Since the start of the winter, ensure that you take your pet outside on a regular basis. When the winter arrives, cover them properly and increase the duration of their outdoor stay gradually. You can start with 15 minutes and can increase it to 1 hour depending on the adaptability of your dog breed.
Look for the Feeding Quantity and Schedule
A full stomach helps your pet stay active. And, exercise helps a lot in balancing the body temperature when outside in the snow. In winters, remember to carry treats along with you. And, feed your pet time to time to help your pet stay active and playful. The more it will involve itself in running or other games, the better it would adjust to the temperature.
Buy blankets and Sweaters
It is fun to purchase those funny and trendy sweaters for your pet. And, the fun doubles when your pet looks adorable in those lovely dresses. Winters are the most demanding season of the year and using your fun shopping to get few extra pairs of sweaters for your pet won’t be useless. On the contrary, it will help you stay prepared when the sweaters are wet or dirty as you would still need to keep your pet warm.
Try Outdoor Shelters or Dog Igloo
Start doing this in the beginning of the winter season. Install a shelter or pet igloo outside in the backyard. Let your pet get used to the new place. Once winter arrives, dump more blankets to make sure your pet stays warm outside.
There are times when we forget about the most important responsibilities. Either we are too occupied with ourselves or we don’t realize we are missing something. It happens when it comes to protect our pets during winters. Because our pets tend to have a natural coat, we assume that the weather won’t tear our pet’s power to fight cold.
However, every pet is different. Some requires great protection during cold. Hence, preparing your dog for winter is the most crucial task and one should spend time understanding the same.