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Cold Weather Care for Dogs

Winter is just around the corner! Although your canine buddy may already be wearing a fur coat, you may actually need to make some minor changes to your dog’s care regimen as the temperatures drop. In this article, a Niwot, CO vet discusses cold weather care for dogs.

Food

Fido may need slightly bigger portion sizes in winter, especially if he spends a lot of time outdoors. Your pet may also benefit from certain supplements. For instance, fish oil can help lubricate your canine pal’s bones and joints, and can be very helpful for dogs with arthritis or other bone/joint issues. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.

Exercise

You may want to shorten your dog’s walks once it gets really cold out. However, Fido will still need proper activity to stay healthy. Keep your furry pal moving by playing Fetch indoors, or by doing stair runs with him.

Paw Care

If Fido’s nails get too long, they’ll become quite uncomfortable for him. Your dog could change his gait to compensate, which can put a lot of stress on his bones and joints. Make sure to keep your pup’s nails clipped. Dogs can also get painful paw burns or abrasions by walking on snow, salt, sand, ice, or chemical deicers. If your canine friend doesn’t like wearing booties, use paw balm or paw wax to protect his furry feet.

Comfy Beds

When it’s cold outside, it’s very comforting to be able to climb into a warm, comfy bed. Make sure Fido has a good doggy bed to snuggle up in!

Doghouse

Fido should live indoors, with the rest of the family, but if your pooch has a doghouse, take time to give it a good cleaning before it gets really cold. Your furry buddy’s outdoor home should be well-insulated and raised off the ground a little, so snow and rain go under it, not into it. Hang thick plastic strips at the door to help keep the wind out, and put some mats down for bedding.

Grooming

Brushing your canine companion daily will remove dead fur, dust, and dander, all of which reduce the insulating properties of Fido’s fur. Don’t forget to give your pup a treat after his beauty session!

Please contact us, your Niwot, CO pet hospital, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’ve been providing excellent veterinary care since 1946!

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