The winter months can present a number of unique challenges to your dog. However, it is common for pet owners to be fairly uninformed and inexperienced when it comes to the winter care needs of their dog. To help you keep your dog safe from some common problems this winter, you will need to keep these three dog-care tips in mind.
Have Your Dog Wear Foot Covers
Many pet owners will simply assume that their dog's feet are able to comfortably withstand snow and ice. However, the soft pads on the bottom of their feet are extremely sensitive. As a result, your dog may feel intense discomfort from the cold. To combat this problem, you should invest in foot covers for your dog. These covers will prevent the sensitive pads from coming into direct contact with the freezing ground. Ideally, these covers should be washed every couple of days so as to prevent foul odors, bacteria, and other issues.
Wipe Your Dog with a Towel After Letting It Inside
When your dog comes in from the outside, it is critical to use a towel to thoroughly dry and wipe down the dog's coat. In addition to snow and ice getting in the fur, it is also possible for deicing chemicals to get in the fur. These substances can irritate the skin and cause intense discomfort for your dog. By using a towel to thoroughly wipe your dog after coming inside, you can remove these substances before they are able to cause skin problems. When performing this preventative care, you should always use a dry towel. If you use a damp one, you may dissolve the deicing chemicals and make it easier for them to make it through the fur to the skin.
Use a Moisturizing Shampoo During the Winter Months
The cold air will not be able to hold as much moisture as warmer air. As a result, it can be common for dry skin to be a problem during the winter months. This may cause your dog to start excessively scratching, and this problem may become severe enough that your dog removes small patches of fur due to excessive scratching. If you start to notice this problem, you should consider washing your dog's coat with a moisturizing shampoo. These shampoos will help to moisturize the skin while also replenishing the protective oils that are on the surface. By washing your dog with a moisturizing shampoo, you can help their skin and coat stay in the best condition possible despite the harsh winter weather.
Talk to your veterinarian for more tips on caring for your dog during the winter.