Dog in the snow - tips for animal winter fun
The snowflakes fall quietly and immerse the landscape in a quiet, soothing white. Winter is great fun for many four-legged friends. They love to romp through the snow and feel right at home in cold temperatures. But not every dog can handle the cold well. Some need special protection to stay healthy through the winter.
This article is about what you should pay attention to in the cold season and how to ensure the safety of your dog.
Dogs in winter: the right protection
While some dogs feel really comfortable in freezing temperatures, other dogs prefer warm weather. Cold can be extremely uncomfortable for your four-legged friend if he has little body fat or only thin fur. His state of health and his age also play a role in the perception of cold. Sick and old dogs move less and therefore freeze more quickly. It is all the more important to warm your furry friend with appropriate dog clothing. The options range from cozy jumpers to lined coats and overalls to exclusive dog sweaters made from real cashmere.
In this article you will learn even more interesting facts about dog coats.
You should keep in mind that dogs can catch cold too. The danger is particularly great when your four-legged friend is wet. If cold air or a cold floor is added to this, he can catch a cold and become ill. Especially dogs with a weak immune system offer pathogens an ideal target. To protect your darling from a cold or bladder infection, you should always dry it well. Also offer him a berth where he can be cozy and warm.
Paw care in the cold season
The paws of your pet may also need special protection. Not every dog has problems with them in winter. But some are sensitive to the snow, the cold and the road salt. If you choose a path for your walk on which a lot of salt has been sprinkled, you should rinse the paws with warm water afterwards. At the same time, you prevent your dog from licking the salt.
Cream the paws before they go for a walk, so less salt settles on them. The fat also ensures that ice and snow do not stick to the bales. Milking fat, vaseline or deer tallow are recommended for creaming.
Does your dog have long hair between the pads? Then it is helpful to shorten this. On the one hand you can clean his paws better, on the other hand fewer lumps of ice form. If your dog still has problems with its paws, dog shoes can help. You should get him used to these in peace and make sure that they really fit.
Dogs in winter: the right energy supply
To maintain its temperature, your dog needs more energy in winter than in summer. It's the same with us humans. It's with good reason that we eat heartier foods with more calories during the cold season.
There is no general answer as to whether you should actually feed your darling more in winter. The energy it needs depends, among other things, on how much it moves and how long it is exposed to the cold.Do you only take your dog for short walks and is he otherwise comfortable on the couch? Then its energy requirements will probably not be much higher than usual. However, if you go on long hikes in the snow with it or do dog sports with it, then it is guaranteed that it will need more energy. If you are unsure of how much to feed him, consult your vet for advice.
Good to know:
Some dogs love to eat snow. My dog Luna loved to run through the snow with her mouth open and shovel it into herself. It wasn't easy to stop her. Nevertheless, you should not allow your dog to eat it, because eating snow can result in inflammation of the gastric mucosa (gastritis). This becomes noticeable a few days later with abdominal pain, diarrhea and/or vomiting. If your four-legged friend suffers from gastritis, he needs bland food. It's best to discuss with your vet how to behave properly.
Safety for your dog in winter
The days are shorter, it gets light late and dark early. It is therefore almost impossible to avoid walking your dog in the dark. You can use various tools to make it easier to see:
- Luminous collars
- reflective scarves
- Harness or dog coats with reflectors incorporated
- High-visibility vests
- flashing LED pendants
- reflective dog leashes
In this way, you not only ensure the safety of your dog, but also that of other road users.
The most important things at a glance
With a little foresight and good care, you and your dog can enjoy the beautiful sides of winter carefree.
Here is everything you need summarized:
- Make sure your dog gets enough energy when he's out in the cold for a long time.
- Cut back the fur between the pads to prevent clumps of ice from forming.
- Scrub your paws before you go for a walk to protect them from road salt and clumps of snow.
- After the walk, wash the paws with lukewarm water.
- Dry your dog well when it's wet and make sure it's in a draft-free, warm place to lie down.
- Cloth him appropriate clothing to protect him from the cold. This is especially true for old and sick dogs, but also for those with thin coats and puppies.
- Provide good visibility with light collars or reflectors.
- Don't allow your dog to eat snow. This is associated with the risk of gastritis.
The cold season is part of it in our latitudes. Most dogs get through the winter well and enjoy it very much. If your darling is weak or sensitive, you should take appropriate measures to protect him from the cold and road salt. Then nothing stands in the way of your animal winter fun.