Is your Dog Winter Ready?

Here are our 5 tips to keeping your dogs happy and healthy this winter!

Who else is struggling to believe it's actually winter? Not only did this year fly by (which is kind of a good thing) but it definitely doesn’t feel cold enough to be winter, right? Well for us it might not seem that cold but for our animals, they will definitely notice the change in weather. It might not be minus degrees yet but our dogs will definitely be noticing the lack of sunshine; "where’s that nice warm patch of sunlight gone that I lie in everyday"? We can relate dogs - don’t worry - we miss the sun too! Not only that, but your dogs will notice how you aren’t taking it out for long walks anymore, or as many walks, and it rains a lot more now so there is less playing outside in the garden. All in all our dogs get effected by the winter season too, and just like humans they feel somewhat sad when the winter approaches. 

So let's make sure you are keeping a good eye on your dog this winter and staying alert to any signs of doggie depression. It’s a thing! 

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Here are 5 things you can do to keep your dog happy and healthy this winter! 

1. Plenty of walks

Make sure that you are taking your dog out for a walk or two a day. You don’t want to neglect the fact that they need walking just because it’s raining or because it is too cold, or simply because you can’t be bothered. Dogs don’t understand the fact that winter makes you feel lazy - they want to go for walks with you regardless of the weather - so make sure you still take them for a nice walk everyday, it will really help keep them active and energised.

2. Outwear for pets

It’s the simple things that can make a dog feel loved and happy. If it is quite cold outside or raining a little bit too much then make sure you wrap your dog up the same way you would yourself! Yes, dogs have fur and yes this keeps them warm but that doesn’t mean it protects them from the rain and it definitely does not protect them from catching frost bite or hypothermia! A simple water resistant coat with some warm padding can make a huge difference to a dog’s physical state and can protect them from the cold rain. Not only do they feel more protected when going outside but they also feel loved and very happy. Try putting a coat on a dog before you go for a walk and see how excited they get! You could also give them shoes to wear if the ground is icy or snowy. Shoes are a popular dog accessory now and they work really well at keeping you dogs feet protected on walks through wet mud.

3. Plenty of Grooming

Give your dog plenty of grooming. Not only is it nice to give your dog a groom but it is also really important to do regular grooming during the winter. The rainy weather means that your dogs fur will get damp so it is important to give it a nice dry when you get home so that it doesn’t start to smell and so that the wetness doesn’t give your dog a cold. With it being muddier outside your dog will be getting messier so a nice warm bath is a perfect way to clean your dog and keep it toasty warm! A good way to get the mud out of fur is to brush it regularly with an appropriate brush. It is also a good idea to keep your dogs nails clipped to avoid build up of dirt in the pads.

4. Warm Foods

As the mornings and evenings get colder a good way to keep your dog warm is to feed it warm foods. To some people this might sound really strange but it is actually quite normal to give your dog warm food. This doesn’t mean feed them Spaghetti Bolognese but you can take the normal food you give them and just mix in some chicken or vegetable broth – add some warm water or gravy to their meal to give them that extra bit of warmth.

5. Cuddles and Warmth

Give them plenty of cuddles (oh no, cuddles) and plenty of blankets to sleep with. If you are a house that keeps the heating on all day and all night then your dog should be kept fairly warm 24 hours a day, but if you don’t keep the heating on at night then it is a good idea to make sure your dog has some nice blankets to cuddle up in during the night.

These are just some of the things you can do this winter to keep your dog happy, healthy and comfortable, but there are many other steps to take as well. The main take away is that dogs get affected just like humans by the change in weather and it is important to recognise any changes happening in your dog as well – that way you can always keep it healthy during the winter.

Essential Puppy Care Guide from GroomArts Academy on Vimeo.

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