Winter is a tricky time for pets. On the one hand, it can cause them to get cold and damp, which can lead to health problems. At the same time, winter also makes it hard for dogs to stay warm. This can cause them to become more sedentary than we’d like them to be, and this can make your dog even more susceptible to health problems.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the cold winters could worsen your pet’s medical conditions like arthritis. That’s why you need to love and care for your dog more than ever during the winter. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take during the winter months that will help keep your dog healthy and happy.
Signs of a Nutritional Deficiency in Your Dog
If you notice that your dog is losing weight or has no energy, it could be a sign of a nutritional deficiency. Weight loss can be caused by factors related to illness or injury, but if your dog has always been healthy and suddenly isn’t eating well and losing weight, this may be an obvious indicator.
A loss of appetite is another potential sign of a nutritional deficiency. If your dog is not eating at all or isn’t as interested in treats as usual, this may indicate something is wrong with his diet. If you notice that your pup’s coat looks dull and dry, his skin has become flaky and dry, or he develops loose stools or vomiting episodes after meals, these are also signs that something is off with his nutrition level.
If you happen to notice any of these changes, immediately consult a vet and get a prescription medication for your dog’s condition. Once you have the right prescription in hand, then shopping for it is as easy as it can get. Online pet stores like PetRx are a one-stop shop for all things pet care. There you can also buy some healthy treats for your dogs while you are at it.
Cold Weather Means Lots of Time Indoors
You and your dog may want to spend more time inside when it is cold outside. While it’s fun to go on walks in the snow, it can be dangerous for a dog to go out into the elements without proper protection. Cold weather can cause frostbite and hypothermia in dogs, causing their fur and paws to become very sensitive. At its worst, hypothermia can also cause heart problems, kidney failure, slow breathing, and even death.
If your dog gets wet or muddy outside, it may get sick or have an uncomfortable time shedding its coat later on. In addition, frozen grass has sharp edges that could cut your puppy’s legs when running around outside. Snow can also create slippery surfaces, which could cause them to slip or fall down when playing with other animals.
Does Your Dog Need More Protein in the Winter?
You may have noticed that your dog is shedding more than usual. That’s because they’re losing their fur. Normal shedding is a natural part of the cycling process, but it can be exacerbated by cold weather and a decrease in activity levels due to winter weather conditions.
Since your dog will be staying indoors a lot with less activity, it is important that you adjust their diet accordingly. This means that you need to cut down on their calories and increase the level of proteins and fiber. But if you keep your dog out in its own shed, then that would be a different story.
If your dog is subjected to the cold temperature outdoors, then you should increase the calorie level in their diet. The American Veterinary Medical Association also recommends feeding more calories to outdoor pets so that they can keep themselves warm and comfortable by generating enough body heat.
How to Keep Your Dog Safe from Harm During the Winter
While the winter season can be a great time to get outside with your dog, it is important to remember that he/she will need additional care. Below are some tips on how you can keep your dog safe from harm during the winter.
Keep Your Dog Hydrated
Your dog’s body temperature is similar to that of a human. So keeping them warm and hydrated should be one of your priorities when it comes to caring for them over the winter months.
Water is essential for healthy living, and hydration levels should be observed closely during this time. If they seem thirsty or have been drinking more than usual, adjust their diet accordingly, so they don’t become dehydrated.
Keep Them Warm
The temperature in many parts of North America usually drops significantly between fall and springtime. Sometimes even requiring people and animals alike to stay indoors for longer periods of time than usual. So it’s important that you keep an eye out for any signs indicating lower body temperatures, such as shivering or panting heavily with little reason other than being cold. In these cases, try putting on an extra layer before going outside. Put socks on their paws if possible, too, so they don’t slip around while walking outdoors near sidewalks.
Don’t Forget About Daily Exercise
Don’t forget about daily exercise. Just as humans need to move around every day to stay healthy and happy, so do dogs. According to People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals, the amount of exercise your dog needs may vary depending on its breed and age.
While younger dogs can take vigorous exercise because of their high energy levels, older dogs can only endure less energy-consuming exercises like brisk walks. On the other hand, some breeds may require more than 2 hours of exercise while some can manage with less than 1 hour.
Exercise can be as simple as a walk around the block or a game of fetch. It helps keep your dog strong and healthy, and it’s also good for their mental well-being.
Exercise can help prevent obesity, which can lead to other health problems like diabetes or arthritis. The older a dog gets, the more important it is that they get regular exercise. So don’t let them sit around all day while you’re working. Give them some fun things to do instead.
The winter months can be a challenging time for our four-legged friends, but with the right preparation and planning, you can ensure that your dog is happy and healthy throughout the season.