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Cold Weather Dog Care

Winter isn’t far off now! As the temperatures drop, you’ll want to make some changes to your canine buddy’s care regimen. Read on as a Mt. Airy, MD vet discusses caring for Fido in winter.

Paws

Did you know that dogs can get painful paw burns and abrasions by walking or running on snow, salt, sand, or ice? Paw balm will protect Fido’s furry feet. You can also use coconut oil or petroleum jelly. We also recommend stocking up on pet-safe de-icing agents.

Weather

Limit Fido’s outdoor time when it’s really cold out. This goes double for puppies, senior dogs, and pooches with medical issues. These pups are often very sensitive to temperature extremes, and will have a harder time dealing with the cold than other dogs.

Exercise

Fido may spend a good portion of winter indoors. Keep your furry friend active by playing with him. You can play Fetch indoors, though you’ll want to pick a spot without a lot of breakable objects. Your canine pal may also enjoy chasing a laser pointer.

Beds

Make sure Fido has a comfy bed to curl up in on those frigid nights. Your pooch may appreciate a heated bed or a thermal blanket.

Food

If your canine companion is a working dog or spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need larger serving sizes at this time of year. Puppies and nursing mamas may also need extra food.

Comfort

Dogs with bone/joint issues, such as arthritis, often get very stiff and sore in winter. Ask your vet for specific advice. Massage, laser therapy, and/or supplements can all help Fido feel better.

Walks

When walking Fido in winter, always wear boots or shoes with good tread. Keep a close eye on the ground, especially after it’s snowed. Snow can cover up dangerous items, like broken glass or exposed pieces of metal. Finally, don’t let your pooch explore frozen bodies of water. Thin ice is very dangerous!

Clothes

Pups with thin coats will be more comfortable with doggy jackets when it gets really cold. Make sure Fido’s things fit him well, and are not itchy, tight, or restricting. We also recommend getting him more than one outfit. That way, if one gets wet, you’ll have another ready to go.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Please contact us, your Mt. Airy, MD vet clinic, anytime!

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