6 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy This Winter

6 Tips to Keep Your Dog Happy and Healthy This Winter

Winters can be tough on humans. There's the cold, the snow, the freezing rain, the sleet, the lack of direct sunlight ... that's tough. However, they can also be tough on our favorite four-legged friends. Winters can be just as hard on doggies as they can be on humans. So, how can you ensure your favorite doggie pal makes it through the winter unscathed? Here are 6 quick tips to keep your dog happy and healthy this winter.

1. Try giving them a warm coat...

Yes, your mom or dad's favorite wintertime admonishment works just as well for your dog. If they're not of the overtly hairy or shaggy type, putting a snug little sweater on your dog before they head out on their walk will help them to keep warm in winter. Plus, if you poke around online, you should be able to find an adorable design or too (maybe something winter or Santa themed?).

2. Be judicious with the doggie baths...

You may have a regular frequency for a doggie bath, depending on how smelly/dirty your furry friend gets. However, excessive baths during the wintertime can actually dry out the skin on your dog during the cold winter months - which could lead to some health problems. Don't go overboard with the canine baths in these cold months. If you do notice dry skin on your dog (especially prominent in elderly dogs) during these months, apply moisturizer.

3. Take a "paws" to look at your dog's feet...

There's a chemical smorgasbord on the grounds of most cold-weather climates during the winter, with all of the deicers and rock salt that gets tossed around to help eliminate the snow and slush. Those chemicals can be harmful to a dog, especially if they're ones to lick their paws. Be sure to give a quick wipe of their appendages after a walk on the sidewalk or a road so you can get those chemicals off of their skin.

4. Don't go crazy with outdoor time...

Your dog may love to play in the snow, but they're still at risk for hypothermia and illness if they're out there for too long. Make sure you tightly regulate how often they're out in the cold and the elements.

5. Keep up their caloric intake...

Trying to stay active in the cold could require a boost in your dog's food; make sure they're getting enough calories in order to maintain the needed energy during the colder months.

6. Make sure they have plenty of water...

Dogs can just as easily become dehydrated in the wintertime as they can in the summer. Make sure that their water bowl is constantly full (and ensure that the wintertime bowl is plastic, so they don't run the risk of having their tongues freeze to metal).

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  • Dana S
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