Anyone who has seen dogs in the winter knows that most four-legged friends love this season. Fun factor number 1 is of course the snow. But as nice as the white goings are - in terms of dog health you should pay attention to a few things during the cold season.
Plunging your nose into the snow, catching snowflakes from the air and sprinting across a white winter meadow - all this makes you happy, but also carries risks. The following five tips will help your woof stay healthy.
1. Pay attention to hypothermia
Take care every winter walk that your dog gets enough exercise. When it's cold outside, dogs freeze in winter, as long as their circulation is not active. However, when you run, discover and retrieve, the cold usually does not bother your wuff. By the way: Just as in midsummer you should not lock up dogs in the car for too long in winter. The car can quickly become an ice chest. Hypothermia threatens even with a long wait outside, for example, in front of the supermarket.
2. Paw care for dogs in winter
Make sure that your dog always has the shortest possible coat between his toes in winter and cut the paws' hair regularly, especially with long-haired snow lovers. Otherwise, snow and ice may accumulate there, often resulting in hard, aching ice balls between the toes that can trigger inflammation. Do not forget: In addition to the fur on the paws, the rest of the dog fur needs more care in winter than usual.
3. On safe trails: Avoid road salt and grit
Some roads and paths are particularly heavily covered in winter with road salt or grit. What helps people not to slip, harms sensitive dog paws sometimes. The bales react quickly with minor injuries or inflammation. Tip: Use paw protection wax, which is available from specialist retailers - this protects against a bale injury caused by road salt. An alternative to this are special paw guards for dogs. However, most dogs have to get used to the clothes in the winter.
4. Dog clothes can be useful
Dog clothing is advisable for some dogs in the winter. Normally, fur lobes do not freeze when there is sufficient movement, but some dog breeds need it extra warm. For animals with little or short coat as well as weakened, sick or older dogs, dog clothing in winter is recommended at temperatures below freezing.
5. The right diet in winter
Experts are still arguing about whether or not dogs need more food in winter due to higher energy demands. As a rule, four-legged friends do not have an increased energy requirement - additional feed often only works in the form of overweight. Just pay attention as usual to a healthy and balanced dog nutrition. If you like, you can feed dog food in the winter with extra vitamins - it is best to consult with your veterinarian.