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Preparing Your Dog for Winter

Believe it or not, winter is just around the corner. As you start pulling your heavy clothes out of storage, don’t forget about your canine pal. Read on as a Somerville, MA vet discusses preparing Fido for winter.

Clothes

If your pup has thin fur, he’ll probably need another layer of protection against the cold. This is a good time to sort out your pet’s clothes, and discard anything that is too tight, as well as anything worn, ripped or stained. Never put Fido in anything that is hot, tight, or itchy. You’ll also want to be sure that his clothes don’t restrict his vision. Last but not least, avoid anything with zippers, which can catch dogs’ fur, or buttons, which our canine companions sometimes try to eat.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all damage your dog’s sensitive paw pads. Get some paw balm or wax to protect Fido’s furry feet. If you have a house, you may also want to stock upon pet-safe de-icing agents. Or, you can try putting booties on your four-legged buddy. Not all pooches like wearing shoes, but some really seem to enjoy not having to go barefoot in the snow.

Bathing

Give Fido a good bath before the weather gets cold. You definitely don’t want to walk a wet dog on a winter day!

Bed

There’s nothing cuter than a dog peacefully snoozing in his doggy bed. Make sure your furry pal has a warm, comfy doggy bed to snuggle up in on those cold winter nights. If you have a large dog or a senior pooch, get Fido an orthopedic bed, which will offer extra support. Dogs with thin fur may also appreciate a heated bed or a thermal blanket.

Food

Does your pup spend a lot of time outdoors? Is Fido a working dog? If so, your canine buddy may need extra rations. Senior dogs, puppies, and nursing mamas may also require larger portion sizes when it gets cold. Ask your vet for specific advice.

Prepare For Winter Walks

Designate a specific winter coat for walking Fido. Stuff the pockets with gloves, waste baggies, a flashlight, spare keys, treats, tissues, and anything else you may need. You will also need shoes or boots with good traction.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Call us, your Somerville, MA vet clinic, today!

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