While we’re pulling on coats and adding extra layers to our bedding, we need to be just as mindful of looking after our pets as we are our chilly homes. A cold dog is not a happy dog, especially the short-haired breeds.
United States has one of the highest domestic animal ownership rates in the world. Around eight million of us have a furry, feathered, or scaly friend at home.
The cooler months of winter can be challenging for pet parents to keep even the most well-trained apartment pets warm and entertained and so PETstock has compiled some handy tips. Check them out below.
Invest in a coat.
Several dog breeds are blessed with thick fur that naturally keeps them warm outside during winter, however, smaller breeds or those with thin coats may need to cover up when outdoors. A high-quality coat or jumper for your dog should provide excellent coverage from the neck to the tail, yet not inhibit mobility.
Look at bedding.
If your dog sleeps on cold tiles, concrete, or uncarpeted floors, review your bedding options to ensure they remain warm at night during winter. Provide raised beds for insulation, extra blankets they can snuggle, and ensure that that their bed is away from cold drafts (especially for newborn and elderly dogs).
Modify indoor/outdoor time.
If your dog feels the cold, adjust their time spent outdoors, where possible, to daytime when the sun is out and the temperature a little warmer rather than early morning or late evening.
A handy hint is to go out with them and when you’re ready to come in, they will be too. Do not leave pets outdoors for long periods without proper insulated shelter during winter to avoid the risk of hypothermia.
Use heater protection.
Dogs will often seek heat during winter and rest close to heating sources. Make sure that open fireplaces and space heaters have protective covers so you can avoid overheating and potential burns. Regularly service gas heaters and appliances in the home to minimise the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Maintain consistent food portions.
Be sure to monitor your dog’s food intake, energy levels, and keep a close eye on their weight during the colder months. Some dogs may be less active during winter, sleeping indoors, so they may require less calories to avoid weight gain. Alternatively, dogs who spend a lot of time outdoors during winter may need an increase in food due to high energy use to keep warm. Quality foods will help ensure a healthy coat and good energy during the season.
Your dog needs a clean, well-maintained coat to keep insulated, especially if they spend time outdoors. After bathing, dry your dog thoroughly, inspect that their skin is in good condition, and give their fur a good brush to prevent matting.
Check your indoor plants.
While indoor plants are in-vogue and help enhance air quality, they can be lethal for your dog if ingested. Common varieties, such as Yucca, Aloe Vera, Devil’s Ivy, or Corn Plant are no-go’s and can cause drooling, vomiting, weakness, or even acute kidney failure if eaten.
Before investing in plants, visit the ASPCA’s website for their list of poisonous plants. Review our fact sheet on poisonous plants should you suspect your dog has ingested a harmful plant and the care you need to provide.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, Now to Love.