Winter is an important time to step up your healthcare strategy when it comes to your dogs, and not just because winter poses health problems for your pet. It is less enjoyable to be outside, and therefore exercise runs and walks might be shortened; depending on where you live, there may be an extra risk for things like fleas or ticks as the season gets wet, and then, of course, there’s the risk of slipping and sliding. From keeping your pet warm to keeping them healthy, these top tips will help you take better care of your dog this winter:
Step Up Your Vet Visits
If you rarely see your vet because your pet hasn’t had an accident, then you are lucky, not smart. Vets are not just someone to visit when there is something overtly wrong with your pup. Just like people, dogs should get a check-up, but more importantly, they need vaccination boosters and flea and tick control medication to stay healthy. Ticks, in particular, pose a health problem to both dogs and people, so preventing them (which is becoming more difficult as warmer months get longer) is a great move for the whole family.
Going to a vet like Orting Animal Hospital has many benefits as well. That check-up can help find issues before they become a problem. Not only that but there are a lot of regular treatments that can help keep your dog thriving, like teeth cleaning.
Does Your Dog Need Extra Warmth?
Some breeds absolutely do not need a coat during winter. They grow out a thick winter coat and are active and wrapping them up in clothes can actually cause them to either overheat or the coat could get wet and then freeze them down to the bone. The only time extra warmth via clothes should be considered is when your pet doesn’t have that winter coat. Their fur might be very thin and short, and it won’t get thicker during winter either. In these instances, choosing a coat that covers their back but not their belly could be a great way to keep them warm and dry. The reason why you don’t want an option that covers their belly is that this area will get dirty and wet fast, and also because lying on the ground is a key way dogs cool down, and you don’t want to take that away from them.
How to Ensure They Still Get Their Exercise
A great way to ensure that your pup gets the exercise that they need is to go to a large dog park. Allowing them off the lead means that they can set the pace, and they can also play with other dogs without issue (unlike if you were to go on a walk with them on the leash). This option can be used all throughout the year, but the reason why it’s particularly great during winter is that you can bundle up warm, get yourself a hot drink, and let your dog have fun while just keeping an eye on him.
How to Entertain Your Pup at Home
Get toys and play games that engage your dog’s brain, from having them sniff out treats in your backyard to getting puzzle games for dogs that they can entertain themselves with (these are often food-rewarded games). By engaging their brain, you can keep them active without acting out, which is a must when more time is spent indoors!