Would you ask your best friend to sleep out-of-doors, naked, in the coldest months of the year? For many family dogs, that exactly what the coming winter has in store. A few simple decisions from you, though, can make wintertime healthy and fun for both you and your pet.
Indoors and Out
The most important decision you will make is where your dog will be spending the season. Many dogs live for most of the year in an outdoor shelter or doghouse. Whether your dog is staying out or moving indoors for the season, a few preparations are in order.
If your dog winters outside, make sure he has adequate shelter. Use a wooden-construction doghouse, or one made from heavy plastic, with a raised floor to insulate your dog bedding from the ground. Make sure any doorways are covered by a flap, and that the house is dry and out of the winds. Change the dog water often so that it does not freeze, and only use plastic bowls; a dog snout can stick to a cold metal dish as sure as a schoolboy tongue to a frozen flagpole.
Warm, comfortable bedding is a must. Consider a heated dog bed; many models come with timers,Good Ideas for Making College an Option for Your Child, to reduce power usage. For a great “green” option, keep your dog stocked with a steady supply of hay, which makes an excellent insulator. Whatever you choose,Reebok Green Bay Packers #52 Clay Matthews Black Shadow Replica NFL Jersey, it vital to check the bedding regularly canada goose jakke oslo to make sure it is not wet or soiled, as wet bedding will actually draw heat out of your dog.
If you are moving your dog inside for the winter, youl need to prepare a space for him. Dogs have a powerful den instinct. Your dog den doesn have to be fancy — a corner of the basement or laundry room will do — but it should be clean and dry, with adequate ventilation, an appropriate bed, and access to food and fresh water. Keep the temperature comfortable, but not too warm; your dog fur coat makes his comfort zone a few degrees cooler than yours. Keep garbage, houseplants, and breakables out of reach.
Frost Bites Dog
In dogs as in people, damage from extreme cold starts in the extremities. In fact, dogs lose body heat primarily through their ears and the pads of their feet — so that cute dog sweater is not as helpful as it seems. Keep a careful eye on your dog when youe out in the cold, especially in windy conditions; if he shivers, burrows, or tries to curl up into a ball, it time to come inside.
When you return from a walk outside, always take a few moments to make sure your dog coat is dry and clean. If canada goose butikk the hair is dirty or matted, it loses its insulating effectiveness. Your dog coat will gradually grow thicker through the early part of the season. Keep him well-groomed, and limit his visit here exposure to the cold until his winter coat has grown in fully.
Paws for Thought
Your dog feet are at risk from more than just the cold. The salt, sand, and de-icers found on sidewalks can chap the canada goose youth pads of his paws. And when he tries to lick them clean, he can ingest irritating chemicals. Get in the habit of wiping his feet with a warm damp washcloth when you come in from a walk, to remove any residual salt. Protective booties can help, too.
A Long Winter Nap
Your dog activity level will probably change during the winter months. Small and short-haired breeds will spend more time curled up asleep in a warm spot, while heavy-coated working dogs like Huskies will be in their glory. Always consider your pet overall health when taking them outside to play in the cold. Young puppies and elderly dogs are extra-vulnerable, as are dogs with medical conditions. Go particularly easy on older dogs with arthritis or hip dysplasia; the cold will make them stiff and achy, which will make them even slower than usual.
Winter is hard on living things. But just a little extra caution and consideration can make the season a wonderland for you and your dog. Don you owe your best friend that much?
Jack Feerick is staff editor for PurelyDogBeds.com ?your source for dog beds and more.