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Winter Care Tips for Dogs

As winter closes in and the temperatures drop, many of us are getting ready for the holiday season and pulling skis and ice skates out of storage. Along with the holidays, winter brings its own set of rules and to-do lists, such as the need for warmer clothes and the joys of shoveling snow. Your canine buddy’s needs will also change in winter. In this article, your local veterinarian Southeast Denver goes over some basic tips for keeping your canine buddy healthy, safe, and warm during the winter months.

Clothing

If your dog has a thick fur coat, he probably won’t need extra clothing. Huskies and Samoyeds, for instance, are well-suited for colder climates, and may actually be uncomfortable in clothes. Dogs with thinner, shorter fur, however, might need a little more protection, especially on really cold days. You may want to get your pup a warm coat and perhaps a rain jacket to help him fend off the worst of the weather. Always be sure to get your dog’s measurements, and leave a bit of extra room. You want to be sure Fido can freely move all his limbs and tail, and that his clothes aren’t too tight around his chest. Booties may not be a bad idea, either. Ice crystals, salt, sand, and chemical de-icers can all irritate your pup’s paw pads. Booties will help protect Fido’s feet.

Fido’s Fur Coat

Keeping Fido’s fur in good shape is always important, but in cold weather it can be crucial. Knots, tangles, and dead fur can all decrease the insulation and warming properties of Fido’s fur coat. If you take your furry buddy to the salon for grooming, make sure that he doesn’t get clipped too closely in winter.

Nutrition

Dogs that are very active, or that are outside a lot, will burn more energy just staying warm in winter than they will regularly. Your pup may need some extra food just to help him regulate his temperature when it’s cold. If your furry pal has arthritis or hip dysplasia, he may also benefit from extra vitamins or supplements during winter. Talk to your vet about your dog’s diet for specific recommendations.

Winter Hazards

Frozen water can be very dangerous for our canine pals. You definitely don’t want your beloved dog running out onto thin ice! Be very careful when walking Fido near ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. Another thing to watch out for is antifreeze, as dogs will sometimes lick up spills.

Do you have any questions about your dog’s care or behavior? As your vet clinic Southeast Denver, we are here to help. Please contact us any time we can be of assistance.

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