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Winter Care for Dogs

Does your dog like snow? Or does your canine pal hate the cold, and perhaps give you that adorable accusing look when you walk him on frigid days? Although Fido may have a fur coat on, he still needs extra care in cold weather. Read on for some great winter doggy care tips from an Ellicott City, MD vet.

Food

If your furry buddy spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need bigger portion sizes at this time of year, as he’ll burn extra calories just staying warm. Puppies, senior dogs, working pooches, and dogs with thin fur may also need larger servings. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Paw Care

Dogs can get painful paw abrasions by walking on snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents. Choose pet-safe de-icing products, and use paw balm or wax to moisturize and protect Fido’s paw pads. Also, be sure to keep your furry friend’s nails trimmed. You can also try putting booties on your pup, though not all of our canine friends like wearing shoes.

Clothing

While some pooches, like huskies, will do just fine in winter, other dogs have thinner coats, and may need some extra protection against the cold. When dressing Fido, be sure that his clothes fit comfortably and don’t restrict his vision or movement. Avoid anything tight, hot, and/or itchy. Also, stay away from anything with zippers, buttons, or small parts your four-legged pal may try to eat.

Doggy Comforts

There are some little things you can do to keep your pet warm and cozy this winter. Make sure that Fido has a comfy doggy bed to snuggle up in. Your canine buddy may also appreciate a heated bed. Regular brushing will also help, as brushing will remove dead hair and dander from Fido’s coat. This will help optimize the insulating qualities of your pup’s fur. Last but not least, make sure not to keep your dog outside too long on cold days.

Night Walks

Because it gets dark so early in winter, you’ll probably be walking Fido at night quite a bit. Be sure to use reflective clothing and leashes, and wear shoes or boots with good traction. Stick to well-lit areas, and keep a close eye on the terrain.

Please reach out to us, your Ellicott City, MD pet hospital, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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