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AnimalSites.com Articles

Prepare Pets for Chilly Weather

by:
AMANDEEP KAUR MAUJ

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When the seasons progress from summer to winter, and you adjust your routines and plan for colder weather, take a few minutes to prepare your pets for the changing seasons, too.
A proper shelter is must for a dog. If you can't keep your pet indoors during the winter months, provide an elevated structure with a door to protect it from wind and weather. Provide dry, clean bedding materials such as straw or blankets and replace bedding if it becomes damp or wet. Find a house large enough for your dog to be able to stand up and turn around, but small enough to retain body heat.
For indoor dogs provide a warm sleeping area away from drafts. Keep puppies and older dogs indoors except for short periods of time. As with humans, young and old dogs are more susceptible to the effects of the cold.
Check your dog's ears, tail and feet for frostbite. Just as dogs are sensitive to hot summer sidewalks, cold winter walkways may cause pain or contribute to frostbite. A dog that continually lifts individual legs off the ground during a winter walk may be feeling the effects of frostbite. Frostbitten skin may appear red or gray. If you suspect frostbite, wrap your dog's feet in a blanket or towels to warm them gradually and contact your veterinarian.
Provide the proper type and amount of food for the season. Dogs housed outdoors and those that participate in strenuous outdoor activities may require additional food during colder weather. On the other hand, indoor dogs that exercise less frequently in colder months may need less food. It is mandatory to provide adequate fresh, unfrozen water. Your pet requires more water to combat dry winter air.
It is wise to buy a pet sweater for shorthaired breeds. Watch for telltale signs that your pet is cold. Like humans, pets will shiver in response to being chilled. The coat may hide skin conditions so it is important to groom the pet regularly in winter too.
Do visit your veterinarian for a pet checkup before the cold weather strikes. Cold weather may exacerbate certain conditions, such as arthritis. Sudden changes in the weather or drops in temperature may affect pet's stomach too.


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