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Cold Weather Care for Dogs

Does your dog like the cold? Or does Fido give that adorable accusing look when he steps outside in winter, as if to ask why you made it so chilly out? Either way, you’ll want to make some minor changes to your pet’s care routine in winter. Read on as a London, ON vet discusses cold weather care for dogs.

Shelter

First things first: Fido will be safer, healthier, and happier living indoors with his human buddies. Limit your four-legged friend’s outdoor time on very cold days. If your dog does spend a lot of time in the yard, consider getting him an insulated doghouse.

Food

Fido will burn more calories than usual in winter just staying warm. Your pup may need bigger portions in cold weather. If your pooch is a senior, and/or has arthritis or other bone/joint issues, he may also benefit from certain supplements. Ask your vet for nutritional advice.

Exercise

Just like people, dogs often prefer to stay indoors as much as possible when it’s chilly out. Keep Fido warm and cozy inside, but don’t let him become a complete couch potato! Get your canine pal moving by playing Fetch indoors. You can also hold a laser pointer for him to chase.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can all do a number on Fido’s paws. If your furry friend doesn’t like wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect his feet.

Grooming

Did you know that brushing Fido regularly can actually help him stay warmer? Dead fur and dander decrease the insulating properties of your four-legged pal’s fur. Keep your pet properly groomed. Don’t forget to give your pooch a doggy treat after his beauty session!

Clothes

If Fido has thin fur, he may be more comfortable with a doggy jacket or sweater. When you buy clothes for your pup, always bring his measurements with you. Don’t put your pet in anything that is hot, tight, itchy, or constricting, or anything that obstructs his view. You’ll also want to stay away from items that are dry-clean only, unless you don’t mind dropping off Fido’s laundry and picking it up. Clothes with small parts, like buttons, are also best avoided, as these can be choking hazards.

Please contact us, your London, ON pet hospital, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We are here to help!

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