When it’s time for hot cocoa, garam garam chai & pakoDas, we know that winter has arrived. While we bundle ourselves in warm outfits, we need to pause and wonder if our furry friends are indeed comfortable too. In this blog, we will cover a few things to note for those cold days…
For senior dogs or dogs that are arthritic, it is essential to pay attention to their pain levels & monitor their exercise routines more closely as winter months do add to their discomfort. It will be advisable to check in with your vet to see if there can be any supplements or pain medications that can be offered to help ease your pet’s condition.
Ensure that the bed is moved away from drafty areas in the house. It will be advisable to move their beds to carpeted areas or to keep them away from windows so they will be a bit more comfortable especially during the night. It is important to pick the right size of bed for your pet; the bed should be large enough for them to snuggle on & get cosy.
While walking, it is best to avoid walking on slippery surfaces (either dew or recently snowed on areas). This not only helps their joints, but prevents their paws from getting unduly wet & makes them feel cold once they’re back home. Baths need to be given in lukewarm water and do ensure that they are fully dry before taking them out for walks.
For dogs that are suffering from alopecia or have thin fur, it may be best to check with the vet on suitable clothing for them, but for most other dogs, there is no need to bundle up our pets with sweaters or warm outfits. Dogs generally do get a thicker coat for winter, so they should be adequately comfortable in those months.
Having adequate water is a critical requirement for pets during winters. Dogs can dehydrate rapidly in winters too which makes it essential to keep their water bowls full and to check if our dogs are not dehydrated. Remember to clean the water bowls daily to avoid any bacterial growths in the water bowls.
Like us humans, our pets may also prefer having a meal warm or at room temperatures during this season. Do not offer cold stuff during these wintry days as they too can catch a cold.
While winter does not mean the dog does not need just as much exercise as the other days, when conditions are especially cold, it’s a good idea to reduce the durations of their walks and use other canine enrichment ideas indoors to keep their minds & body active.
However in all this, do keep an eye out for any changes in their physical behaviour like shallow breathing, lethargy, whining due to pain as your dog may have hypothermia and will need attention of the vet’s.