How to Prepare Your Dog For the Winter Season

This post may contain affiliate links.
Thank you for visiting Cori's Cozy Corner! Please make sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our E-mails!

As the cold weather fronts draw in, temperatures drop and the days get shorter, there’s one other member of your family who you will also need to prepare for when winter rolls in. As one of the most popular pets in the US, your four-legged friends need just as much love and attention as you would give you to your nearest and dearest in readiness for the holiday season. Ok, so you don’t have to go completely overboard, but the difference between outdoors and indoors temperatures, frostbite and even sniffles can affect your pet too. Be prepared to review your dog’s food, check that they are in optimal health and introduce a few small changes that will ensure to keep your four-legged friend’s tail wagging right through until spring! There’s nothing worse than a sick pet to spoil your holiday season, so read on to find out how to prepare your dog for the winter season.

Wrap up warm

It’s worth doing some research into your pet to find out how their breed adapts and copes with lower temperatures. Larger breeds such as German Shepherds and Huskies, for example, will grow a thicker coat to withstand adverse weather conditions, but if your pooch is originally from warmer climates, chances are they will feel the chill. If your pet lives in the yard, don’t forget to check if the dog house is properly insulated and prepared for the oncoming cold spell. Does your dog live indoors? Then check that their bed provides enough comfort and warmth so that they don’t feel the cold through floor tiles or due to a pesky draught, damaging for aging joints.

Limit the amount of time that your pet spends outdoors and be sure to dry them off before they enter the house thoroughly. Pay particular attention to your pooch’s ears, as damp, dirty ear canals can result in painful ear infections. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean your pet’s paws too, as snow and ice can collect in between the toe pads, resulting in sore, peeling skin and even frostbite in some more severe cases – extremely painful for your dog’s sensitive paws.

A serious winter concern in dogs is hypothermia. Keep a close eye on your pet’s mood if they have spent a long period of time outside. Lethargy and depression, combined with a slower breathing rate could be a sign of a more serious condition. Hypothermia can be life threatening for your pet, so make sure that they come inside to dry off at regular intervals.

Is your pet a lover of the great outdoors? Why not look to invest in a coat if you own a smaller breed if they lack a naturally thicker coat.

Get your vaccines

Colder months mean a higher risk of infection and illness for dogs, just as for humans. Take extra care if your pet loves to play in the snow, as it could be hiding frozen ponds or dirty water, full of bacteria and damaging to your dog’s immune and digestive system. Just because it’s the season for you to overindulge, do keep an eye on all those sweet treats around your home. Remember chocolate and dried fruits are incredibly poisonous to dogs – so keep all temptation well out of reach.

Take care when using antifreeze! Its sweet taste is incredibly appealing to dogs. Antifreeze is extremely toxic and should be used and stored well out of the reach of your pet (and children). Similarly, as in the warmer months, do not leave your dog in your car for a prolonged period of time during the winter – leave them at home where they will be out the way for you to run all those pre-Christmas errands.

It’s important to keep your pet’s vaccines up to date and valid all year round. This applies to your worm and dog flea treatment too. A pest free pooch will ensure that your holiday celebrations go without an itch or a tick.

Consider diet

Do you feel lazier during the winter months? There’s a chance that your dog does too! It’s not always appealing going for a walk in the cold and dark, but that’s no excuse to compensate for lack of exercise with treats and snacks. Don’t divert from your dog’s diet – it’s important that they remain lean and in prime health all year round. A varied, raw, nutrient-filled diet is best for your dog to adjust to colder temperatures, providing them with the energy that they need to enjoy and explore with you.

Keep an eye on your dog’s hydration levels. Just as in summer, it’s important to check that your dog is drinking enough water and keeping hydrated. Extra clothing in winter and warm central heating will mean that your pet needs to take on more water. If your pooch lives outdoors, change a metal bowl for a plastic one to prevent your pet from injuring their sensitive tongue.

Don’t neglect grooming

It may be cold outside, but keep that grooming regime on track. Don’t neglect brushing and grooming after spending time outside. Fun in the snow can dirty fur and result in knots and matted fur which is painful to brush out and makes it difficult for your pet to groom themselves properly. Brushing is a great exercise for you to bond with your pet, so why not get that coat to really shine.

Own an older dog? Be sure to make a fuss of them this winter. Senior pets are much more susceptible to bugs and germs, while older joints will feel the cold a lot more. The cold can also aggravate any existing illness that your dog already suffers from. Consider giving your senior a joint supplement in their food ration and make time for extra hugs.

Even if the weather gets colder, there’s no excuse for you not to get outside and enjoy time with your faithful companion. Keep the above tips in mind to have a happy and healthy holiday for all.




Cori's Cozy Corner Disclosure Policy