While we’ve all been busy decking the halls, it’s been getting frosty and cold outside. As a dog owner, it’s easy to take for granted your pet’s warmth in the outdoors during the frigid winter cold. Dogs are incredibly resilient creatures, and they often look like they’re fine even in some bitterly cold winter temperatures. But that doesn’t mean they’re not just as susceptible to the dangers of cold weather as humans are.
Even canine pals with the thickest winter coats can be threatened by extremely cold weather. In this blog entry, our Edina veterinarian care team at Normandale Vet Hospital talks about the impact of winter on your dog and how you can help protect her this season.
Follow these tips for a healthy pooch all winter long:
1. Stay Up-to-Date on Veterinary Services With a Regular Check-Up
During the winter months, most dogs are more susceptible to winter illnesses like kennel cough, colds, the flu, or even pneumonia. Making sure your pup is in good health before winter hits is a simple step you can take to keep him feeling his best. Make sure you’re up-to-date on vaccines while you’re here.
2. Don’t Overestimate How Much Cold Your Pooch Can Truly Tolerate
Young puppies and elderly dogs are more vulnerable just as human babies and seniors are more susceptible to illness. Dogs with short coats and very thin dogs are also more at risk during the cold weather.
To avoid health problems like frostbite and hypothermia, remember a simple rule of thumb. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your doggo. Be sure to limit the amount of time your dog spends outdoors. You can also give her a comfy sweater or a warm coat for an added layer of body warmth. There’s a good chance she’ll get to be the most stylish pup on the block.
3. Provide Appropriate Shelter
Winter is a bad time for pets to be outdoors in Minnesota. If your dog lives outdoors, you must make plans to bring him in when the temperature drops below zero. Even if it’s above freezing outside, you’ll need to make sure your dog’s shelter is dry and free of drafts.
It should be small enough to conserve body heat but have enough room to lie down. Make sure the shelter is alee of the wind with a waterproof cover on the doorway, and place the shelter off the ground a few inches. Finally, make sure to cover the ground with hay or cedar shavings.
4. Stay on Top of Food and Water
When water freezes, it can become an unhealthy water source. Your dog’s tongue can also become stuck. Be sure to give your dog plenty of fresh water while she’s indoors so she won’t be interested in drinking the slushy water she finds outdoors.
You may also need to decrease her food intake because she’s less active during the cold months. However, a more active dog may need more food to keep her body warm, so it’s important to understand your dog’s unique needs and adjust your pet care accordingly.
Compassionate Winter Veterinary Services Serving Edina
When you’re a dog owner, you love your dogs and consider them members of your family. That’s why you want to do everything you can to keep your furry friends as healthy and happy as possible this winter. That’s where our team of veterinary medical and surgical care can help.
Our veterinary care family at Normandale Veterinary Hospital loves nothing more than keeping our Edina pets safe and happy. Call us to schedule your pet’s check-up or grooming and keep her on track for great health. Or visit our online pharmacy for vitamins and pet care products. Call our veterinary services team at 952-831-8272 or visit our contact page to schedule your pet’s appointment.