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Getting Your Dog Ready for Winter

It’s hard to believe, but autumn is already here. Snow and cold weather are just around the corner. As you start stowing away your summer things and pulling those heavy coats out of storage, don’t forget about your canine buddy! Read on as a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on getting Fido ready for winter.

Clothes

If your four-legged pal has thin fur, he may be more comfortable with a sweater to wear on cold days. This isn’t a universal recommendation, however: some dogs, like huskies, have thick fur that provides sufficient protection from the cold. Ask your vet for specific advice. If your pooch does need clothes, go through his wardrobe, and make sure everything is clean and still fits. Avoid anything that is tight, constricting, or itchy, as well as items with buttons or zippers.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all cause painful paw abrasions. Use paw balm or wax to protect your dog’s furry feet. You may want to wipe Fido’s paws down with a damp cloth when you bring him inside. We also recommend using pet-friendly de-icing agents. Last but not least, if your canine companion has tufts of fur growing between his toes, you may want to trim these: otherwise, they may collect ice balls.

Bedding

Fido may spend a good chunk of winter napping. Make sure your furry pal has a comfy bed to snuggle up in. Older dogs and large breeds may appreciate orthopedic beds, which will provide extra support. If you really want to pamper your pup, get him a thermal blanket, or even a heated bed.

Food

Some dogs need to eat a bit more in winter, as they burn extra calories just staying warm. If Fido is outdoors a lot, or is a working dog, nursing mama, or a puppy, you may want to increase his serving sizes. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Doghouse

Does your canine buddy have a doghouse? Give it a good cleaning before it gets really cold, and make sure it is well-insulated. Hang strips of carpet or thick plastic in the door. This will help block the wind. The doghouse should also be raised off the ground a bit to keep snow out.

Please call us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

Winter Care for Dogs

Winter is right around the corner. Is your dog ready for the cold weather? While our canine pals do have fur coats, they still need a bit of extra TLC to help keep them safe, healthy, and warm during the cold season. In this article, a Fort Collins, CO vet offers some advice on caring for your pooch in winter.

Grooming

Tangles, mats, and dead fur can make Fido’s fur less effective at keeping him warm. Brush your canine pal regularly.

Clothing

If your dog has thin fur, he may need some clothes to help him stay warm when the thermometer plunges. Pick up a good doggy sweater for your four-legged buddy. Be sure not to choose anything that is tight on him!

Paw Care

Snow, ice, sand, salt, and chemical de-icers are all harsh on Fido’s sensitive paws, and can cause painful burns and blisters. Use balm or wax to protect your pup’s furry feet. Keeping your dog’s nails and toe fur trimmed will help him get better traction on slippery surfaces.

Shelter

We always recommend that dogs live indoors, where they are safer, warmer, and happier. But if Fido does spend a lot of time in the yard, make sure he has suitable shelter outdoors.

Bedding

Offer your pet a nice, comfy bed to curl up in at night. If Fido is in his golden years, consider getting him a good, orthopedic doggy bed. Placement is also important: don’t put your pooch’s doggy bed in a chilly or drafty area.

Diet

Some dogs need extra calories in winter. If your dog is a senior, recovering from illness or surgery, or spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger portions during the cold season. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Exercise

As the weather cools, you may opt to take your dog on shorter walks, rather than a leisurely stroll. To keep your pooch from becoming a couch potato, try to keep him active inside. Playing fetch is one great way to get Fido moving.

Ice

When walking your furry pal, don’t bring him too close to frozen bodies of water where there could possibly be thin ice. You don’t want to take any chances on your pet falling through!

Do you have any questions about your dog’s health or care? We can help! Please contact us, your Fort Collins, CO vet clinic, anytime.