For the Love of Vets

For the Love of Vets

5 Tips For Caring For Your Dog In The Winter

Erin Steeves

The winter means cold and wet weather, which means that you need to make sure that you change the way you take care of your pet. Cold weather can be just as severe for your pet as extremely hot weather, so you need to know how to adjust how you care for your dog in the wintertime.

#1: Keep Your Dog Hydrated

It can be easy to remember to give your dog access to lots of water when it is hot outside; don't forget now that it is cold outside. The risk of dehydration for your pet is just as serious in the winter as it is in the summer. Make sure you keep your pet supplied with fresh water. If your dog spends lots of time outside, make sure its water is not frozen.

#2: Don't Let Your Pet Drink Standing Water

When you go out for walks, bring a water bowl and water for your dog. Don't allow your dog to drink from standing water, such as puddles or even lakes. Standing water often contains both toxins and parasites that can be damaging to your pet's digestive system.

#3: Be Careful About Chemicals

Third, you need to be careful around chemicals in the winter. In the winter, there are various chemicals used to both melt the snow and protect gardens that can be harmful to your dog. Work to keep your dog away from these damaging chemicals. Before you bring your dog inside after a walk, wipe off their tail, stomach, legs, and feet to ensure they don't track back any chemicals that they may later lick off themselves.

#4: Don't Cut Back on Food

Fourth, you shouldn't cut back on food in the winter. Your dog will burn more calories trying to generate the necessary body heat to stay warm than they do to stay cool in the summer. Your dog may not be getting as much exercise, but that doesn't mean you should cut back on their food intake.

#5: Be Careful Outside

Finally, be careful outside. Just because your dog has fur doesn't mean they are equipped to handle long periods outside. Not all dogs can tolerate cold weather that well. A dog with shorter hair will get colder faster, as will a dog that is closer to the ground.

If you leave your dog outside, make sure they have a covered and dry shelter they can access, as well as food and water. You may also want to shorten your walks and time outside in the winter.

In the winter, you need to adjust how you take care of your pet. You need to make sure you provide your dog with lots of fresh water and don't allow them to drink dirty standing water. Be aware of the risk of chemical exposure, don't cut back on feeding your dog, and be careful with how much time your dog spends outside. Contact a local veterinarian for more advice.


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For the Love of Vets

Did you know that when a veterinarian graduates from veterinary school, they must take an oath before they are allowed to practice? This is similar to the Hippocratic Oath that doctors take upon graduating from medical school. The new vets promise that they will work to relieve animal suffering and promote the overall health of pets. They also promise to uphold their profession with dignity. If you have ever taken your pet to the vet, you've probably seen a vet live this oath firsthand. You can be confident your pet is in good hands. Learn more about vets and the wonderful work they do in the articles curated here.