Keeping your dogs warm this winter and keeping them safe is a must if you live somewhere with below freezing temperatures. Although most Southern states are heading towards spring, other parts of the country are still experiencing cold temperatures all the way through April. Besides the obvious, keeping your dogs inside is not the only way to keep them warm. Taking measures like nutrition, hydration, protection, and grooming are key to keeping your furry family member healthy and happy through these frigid months.
Some dietary recommendations include providing your dogs with a fresh food diet; which is excellent in promoting dog health. Provide food that is high in moisture to help your dog’s organ function to work properly, and limit the intake of carbohydrates. A high-carb diet leads to extra weight the dog doesn’t need, on months where his activity level is reduced to the indoors.
Berries is one of those fruits that is recommended to keep your dog’s immune system fending off illness and lethargy. They are high in antioxidants, vitamin C, and bioflavonoides, making them a good addition to a winter diet.
Coconut oil is a commonly found household item that has a wide range of health benefits for your dog. It’s an immune booster and perfect for dry and cold winter months, when we need to get good fats into the dogs diet.
Surprisingly, hydration is extremely important in the winter months. During the cold winter months, the humidity levels in the atmosphere are actually lower. With the lower humidity, your dog can easily become dehydrated if he or she is not drinking enough water. There are many reasons why staying hydrated is important for your dog’s bodily functions so don’t skimp on the water.
Read more on hydration: https://wagwalking.com/behavior/why-do-dogs-drink-more-water-in-the-winter
More practical recommendations to keep your dogs safe during winter include protection. Limiting the amount of time a dog spends outside is the best advice. Also keep in mind, that despite their fur or hair, dogs can get frostbite on their paws. A pair of booties if they are to go out in the snow is recommended.
A good policy is to hold off on grooming, as some dog’s coat insulates them naturally from the cold. By grooming we could be destroying their ability to fend of the cold naturally. Dogs with short of course single-coats might need a sweater and jacket when heading outside.
For further reading, check out this article from TopDogTips