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Cold Weather Care for Dogs

Does your dog enjoy the snow? Or does Fido just give you an accusing look when it’s time to go for a walk in winter, and make his strolls as short as possible? No matter what your pooch thinks of cold weather, you will need to make some minor changes to his care regimen in winter. Read on for some great winter doggy care tips from a Somerville, MA vet.

Food

Your pooch will burn more calories in winter than usual, just staying warm. You may need to give Fido bigger serving sizes in cold weather, especially if your pet is a nursing mama, puppy, or working dog, or if he just spends a lot of time outdoors. Ask your vet for advice.

Clothing

Dogs with thin fur may need extra protection against the cold. When shopping for Fido, always bring his measurements with you. (Tip: texting them to yourself is an easy way to do this.) Opt for breathable fabrics you can just toss into the washing machine. Also, make sure your pet’s clothes don’t have buttons, zippers, or small parts he may try to eat.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all be pretty tough on Fido’s furry feet. Chemical de-icing agents can also cause painful burns and abrasions. If your pooch won’t go for wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect his paws.

Night Walks

Once it starts getting dark early, you may need to take extra precautions when walking your dog. Wear reflective gear, and get a reflective leash and collar for Fido. Be extra careful when walking in freshly-fallen snow, as snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass. Also, avoid bringing Fido near frozen bodies of water.

Bed

Make sure Fido has a comfy bed to snuggle up in! If your pooch is a senior, or has thin fur, he may appreciate a heated bed.

Activity

You probably won’t be making many trips to the dog park in cold weather. However, don’t let your pooch become a furry couch potato! Keep Fido active by playing Fetch indoors, or holding a laser pointer for him to chase. You may even be able to teach your pup to walk on a treadmill! Ask your vet for specific advice.

Please contact us, your Somerville, MA animal clinic, for all your dog’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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