For most of the country, winter weather is upon us – the days are shorter, the temperatures are frigid, and cozying up on the couch under a snuggly blanket is the name of the game. Just like humans are reactive to winter weather, our pets are, too, so ensuring they’re safe and comfortable throughout the winter is a priority. Whether it’s your first year as a pet owner or maybe you’ve got an aging dog and want to ensure you keep your pet warm during cold weather, keep reading for ways to upgrade your pet supplies for winter.
Winterize Their Doghouse
While some may view outdoor dogs as inhumane, there are many reasons why dogs stay all year outdoors, and some canines prefer it. Whether it’s your choice or your dog’s preference, be sure you’re winterizing their doghouse to keep them safe and cozy. Fill the floor of their dog house with at least six inches of straw or cedar chips and fill any visible holes or cracks on the exterior of their house. You can also raise the doghouse on a pallet and turn it towards your home or nearby shelter.
Protective Outdoor Gear
If your dog is indoors and goes outside for walks and potty breaks, ensure you have protective gear. This is especially important for senior dogs and small and toy breeds. From winter boots to puffy jackets and scarves, bundling up your four-legged family member is essential. Limiting outdoor time for fragile puppies and elderly dogs is equally important, even when they’re bundled up.
Raw Dog Food
The type of food we consume is the foundation for a healthy, long life, and it’s no different for our dogs. A raw dog food diet is the healthiest and most nutritious diet you can offer your pup. Investing in their health by feeding them the highest quality dog food you can afford means longer life and more snuggles and playtime for you. Shop around and compare ingredients and reviews from raw dog food brands; there are many reputable brands. Feeding a raw dog food diet is easy, especially if you take advantage of having it delivered to your doorstep on a schedule that meets your dog’s feeding needs.
Pet Preparedness Kit
Inclimate weather happens during the winter; it’s a given. If you live in an area where you get a lot of snow, even blizzards, you want to upgrade your pet supplies to include a pet preparedness kit. Items in your kit would be emergency food and water stashes. Digital records and photos in case you and your pet become separated. A cozy blanket to keep your pet warm in case the power goes out for an extended period, and the temperature in your home drops significantly. If you want to add a personal touch, a duplicate of their favorite toy will help keep them occupied – pets can sense stress, and keeping them calm and entertained in an emergency is essential.
Upgrade Their Exercise
With cold temperatures and snow, taking your dog on long walks doesn’t seem as tempting as in warmer weather, but it’s still essential to their health and well-being. Dogs need regular physical exercise to keep them not only physically healthy but emotionally as well. Dogs that don’t get enough exercise and play are prone to behavioral issues – especially larger, more energetic breeds. Please make time to play indoors and outdoors to keep your dogs feeling like themselves and stay healthy.
In the same way we’re prone to dry, cracked skin in the winter, so are our dogs. In addition to normal dry, cold weather, dogs may also come into contact with road salts during snowy weather, which can be bad for your dog’s coat and skin. Try to keep your dog away from road salts completely, but wash and dry their paws and stomachs when you come indoors. You’ll also want to pamper your pet with lotions on bare skin or where hair is short. Adding olive oil to your pet’s nose and touchpads can keep them soft and prevent cracking.
Meeting your dog’s needs in the winter is much like meeting your own. Let your dog cuddle in bed with you, snuggle under blankets, and enjoy the snow in moderation – tails will wag all winter long!