Winter Care for Dogs

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter can be very beautiful here in Pennsylvania, but it can also be brutally cold. Your canine pal might have a fur coat on, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be affected by freezing temperatures. Read on as we are vet serving Fox Chapel, PA and Natrona Heights and we offer advice on caring for your dog in winter.

Winter Wear

Brushing Fido regularly will remove dead fur and dander from his coat, which will increase the insulating qualities of his fur and keep him warmer when the temperature drops. Dogs with thin fur may need extra protection from the cold, so if your pooch’s fur isn’t very thick, he may need a doggy sweater.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can all do a number on your canine buddy’s paws. If your pet will go for it, put booties on him to protect his feet. Not all of our four-legged friends like wearing fancy footwear, however, so if Fido prefers going barepaw, use paw balm or wax to protect his furry feet instead. We recommend wiping your pup’s paws down with a damp cloth each day. Also, remember to keep your dog’s claws clipped.

Diet

Some dogs need to eat more than usual during the cold season. Senior dogs, nursing mamas, puppies, dogs with compromised immune systems, and pooches that work or spend a lot of time outdoors may need bigger portions in winter. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.

Bedding

Make sure that Fido has a comfy bed to snuggle up into. Pooches with thin coats may appreciate heated beds, while senior dogs and large breeds will sleep more comfortably in orthopedic doggy beds, which offer extra support.

Hazards

Winter brings some very specific hazards for our canine pals. Weather, of course, is a big one: don’t leave Fido out too long in the cold! You’ll also want to be careful with woodstoves, candles, and heating elements: never have open flames around your pet. Antifreeze is another concern: it’s extremely toxic to dogs, but has a taste that many of them like. Last but not least, avoid walking your pooch near the edges of frozen ponds or lakes, or near riverbanks. You don’t want to take a chance on Fido possibly falling into icy water!

Do you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, River Valley Veterinary Hospital — your local area, including Fox Chapel, PA animal hospital, anytime.

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