Winter is well underway, and as all dog owners should know, it’s a time of year when we should really be careful with the way we groom and care for our pets. We’re always on hand to help pups of all sizes and breeds look and feel great throughout the year, however, from December through to February, the weather can be a little harsh on their paws and coats.
As responsible dog lovers, we should always be ready to help our furry friends throughout the colder months. Here are just a few crucial points you should consider when it comes to protecting your pup against the deep freeze.
Focus on grooming
Throughout the colder months, all dogs are going to need protection for healthy coats and nails. Their fur is their natural defense against dropping temperatures and damp conditions. Therefore, we should be more vigilant in grooming and brushing our canines as soon as temperatures start to dwindle.
Regular brushing, up to 100 strokes a day, is always advisable. This means you should be keeping on top of reducing knots and matting, especially in breeds with longer hair and fur that is likely to tangle up and get caught. Consider using bristle brushes and more advanced grooming tools to really get through the thickest of fur. Just because winter is here, that doesn’t mean that grooming and brushing should stop.
Do also be careful with claws and nails. As you may not be taking your dog out for longer walks and runs in bad weather, you should think about getting their claws trimmed to ensure they wear down to a healthy level. Nail wear is always expected in warmer months, however, in winter, overgrowth can become uncomfortable for a dog
Winter, unfortunately, doesn’t stop some of the nastier micro-beasties that dogs are likely to fall prey to from time to time. Itchy, irritating critters such as fleas and potentially harmful bugs such as ticks could make your dog poorly without prior warning. Therefore, you should always keep on top of your pet meds.
Make sure that your dog undergoes worming, and that they are protected with friendly flea sprays and collars. If nothing else, you should take your dog to see your local vet to make sure it is up to date on medication and any vaccinations that could help avoid problems during the colder months. You’re going to need to make sure your dog is fighting fit throughout the winter months! Just as many of us stock up on flu medication and get vaccines as December rolls around, you should also be careful to make sure your dog is well-prepared, too.
Protect their paws!
Paw protection is absolutely crucial during winter. Not only are dogs likely to get colder quicker by walking on cold sidewalks and grass patches, they are also at risk from salt and grit which peppers our walkways. Salt which people use to grit highways and sidewalks during snowy and icy weather, can actually harm your pet. Too much sodium is toxic to dogs, which means if they accidentally get a few nuggets caught in their fur or on their paws, they may nibble or lick them off.
The amount of sodium a dog can take will vary before it is toxic, however, it is simply better to stay vigilant and to avoid such scenarios in the first place. A great way to protect your dog against cold walks and grit is to introduce them to boots. Boots may look a little strange on some dogs and really cute on others, but they actually serve a brilliant, practical purpose. A dog that goes out for walks and runs in boots is safe against threats of snow, ice and grit. That means no sodium, no slips, and no chilly paws!
Keeping your dog warm and safe
If you’re feeling cold and under the weather during the winter, just think how your dog might be feeling. Just because some pets have long fur, doesn’t mean they don’t feel the icy winds and frost under their feet.
Here at New York Dog Nanny, we know just what it takes to keep pets happy and healthy during the colder months. Why not try some of the ideas above, and take a look at some of our other ideas and tips from our bespoke boutique? If it’s worth protecting yourself against the cold, it’s also worth protecting your pets.