Veterinarian’s Guide to Winter Pet Care
You may think that your dog isn’t affected by the cold weather in Fayetteville, NC, but this is not always the case.
Yes, it’s true that for some breeds, dogs may enjoy or even prefer cooler temperatures, but it’s still important to follow certain safety measures for your dog in winter weather.
We don’t often see snow here in Fayetteville, NC, but veterinarians agree that coming into warm dry air from the damp, cold outdoors during winter can cause dry and itchy skin for your pets. Try using a humidifier indoors and drying off your pet’s paw pads when they come inside from their adventures in the morning dew or bathroom trips in the rain.
Take caution when grooming your pets during the winter. Winter months, in particular, can cause dry, flaky, itchy, or even cracked skin. Try to limit baths as much as possible and avoid hair cuts down to the skin. It can get pretty cold at night and even during the day. Veterinarians advise that keeping your dogs warm with a nice lush coat of fur can help ward off any chills.
If your dog is already a short-haired pup, make sure to buy them a nice sweater or jacket to wear for their outdoor adventures to help protect them from the winter chill and wind.
You may not realize it, but cooler temperatures force our bodies to burn more energy to stay warm. The same thing happens to your pets! Talk to your veterinarian if your pet is on a calorie-restricted diet, but for most healthy pets, it may be a good idea to feed them just a little extra during these cooler months to make up for the extra energy they’re using to stay warm!
Most importantly, and the easiest rule to follow – just remember that if you are cold, odds are that your pet is cold too! Provide them with a nice warm place to live, eat, and sleep. When you go outside and you need a jacket to stay warm, your pet probably does too. Keep your animals inside whenever possible. If they stay outside during cold temperatures, they can freeze, get lost, stolen, or killed. Care for your pets as you would small child.