You may believe that your pet can tolerate the coat because it has a thick coat of fur and demonstrates resiliency in the snow. Your dog, however, is likely used to the warmth of indoor shelter. Thus, the cold weather can be as hard on your pet as it is on you.
Below are some tips for keeping your pet healthy and safe this winter.
Visit Your Pet’s Veterinarian Clinic
Some pets can get sick during the winter months. You may want to prevent your dog from contracting the flu or a cold. Schedule a quick visit to Normandale Veterinary Clinic to find out what options are available to your pet for flu and cold prevention.
Know Your Dog’s Cold Threshold
Short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dogs can get cold quickly. Therefore, you should shorten the amount of time they stay outside. If your dog enjoys being outdoors and you will be outside longer than a few minutes, consider putting a sweater or coat over it to keep it warm.
Dogs can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite. If it is too cold for you to be outside, then it is probably too cold for your dog to be outside for any length of time.
Keep Your Dog’s Skin pH-Balanced
Your pet may get dry skin during the winter. To keep your dog’s skin from drying out, bathe it as seldom as possible. When you do need to bathe it, try using a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to help keep the skin healthy and pH-balanced.
Avoid using human shampoo or soap. Human products can be harsh and acidic on a dog’s skin. It can also cause dryness and itchiness.
Provide Plenty of Fresh Water
Provide fresh, clean water at all times. Frozen water outside can contain all types of bacteria, chemicals, and pollution. If your pet drinks from the bowl often, it will be less tempted to lick or drink the slushy water outside.
Monitor Your Dog’s Food Intake
Your dog may need to reduce its food consumption during winter months when it is less active. If your dog is active during the wintertime, you may need to increase its food intake. An active dog will burn more energy to maintain a warm temperature during the cold months.
When feeding your pet, keep their food and water inside. A dog’s tongue can stick to a frozen water or food bowl. If you must feed your dog outside, then put the food and water in a ceramic or hard plastic dish.
Wear Reflective Gear When Walking Your Pet
Drivers have the most difficulty seeing during dusk and dawn. They may not see your dog walking. Snow can also limit visibility, and hinder a driver’s ability to react if a dog runs out in the road.
Keep your pet safe by wearing reflective gear. At night, your dog should wear a reflective leash and collar. You can also find reflective sweaters at your local pet store.
Provide Plenty of Shelter for Your Pet
If your pet stays outdoors, bring it indoors during sub-zero temperatures. For the rest of the winter, provide your dog with a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow them to sit and lay down comfortably, but small enough to conserve body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover the roof with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the shelter so it faces away from the wind and covers the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Hospital Care for Your Pet This Winter
Normandale Veterinary Clinic offers general care as well as vaccines, grooming, and surgery, for all types of medical conditions. If you notice that your pet is sick or suffering from a health problem during the winter, bring it to our veterinarians. We can care for your pet and get it on the road to recovery.
If you need emergency care or would like to schedule an appointment for medical treatment, call us at 952-831-8272 or send a message to on our contact page