Last Updated on May 27, 2022 by Pauline G. Carter
Seasons may change but caring for your dog shouldn’t. With new seasons come new weather conditions, temperature, humidity, and other factors that could affect your dog in different ways. The most drastic seasonal changes usually come during the hot periods of the summer and during cold winter.
Dogs, of course, react differently throughout various seasons. During winter, it could be a great day for breeds that are more suited to cold temperatures. They usually don’t need much extra care or grooming. A good example of a breed like this is the Siberian Husky. It’s however not the case with the American Water Spaniel, which is more suited to hot weather.
The goal is to make sure that no matter what weather conditions look like, your dog is happy, healthy, and in great shape. This article will guide you in making the right adjustments to your dog’s care routine and grooming to keep them comfortable regardless of the season.
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Dog Care for Winter
For seasons as cold as winter, you’d need to be armed with the best tips for keeping your dog in top shape. Some of the tips for caring for your pup during the winter season include:
Don’t go out if it’s too cold.
The first question most dog owners ask during winter is “how cold is too cold for my dog to go outside?” Well, it varies by breed as some dogs have a thick coat of fire and can withstand more cold than others. Although a good rule of thumb is if it is too cold for you, it is likely too cold for them. You can go outside when the sun shines but limit how much time your dog spends outdoors.
Invest in dog winter coats and booties.
Get a coat that reaches from the neck to the base of the tail and protects the belly. Booties are also good to protect your dog’s feet from frostbite.
Like humans, cold and dry weather can make your dog’s skin dry and flaky. Use a dog moisturizer or natural products like coconut oil to keep their skin moisturized.
Groom your dog regularly.
Grooming is really important during winter. A clean and well-groomed coat can help your dog with insulation. Bathing, brushing coat, nail trimming with a dog nail grinder and other grooming activities must not be neglected.
Pay special attention to your elderly dog.
Arthritis gets worse during winter so your older pup may experience more pain than usual. You should consider giving them a natural joint supplement and painkillers to ease the pain and discomfort of arthritis. Let them partake in minimal exercise and help them stay warm all the time.
Prioritize paw care.
Check and wash your dog’s paws after walks. Make sure the snow doesn’t get into their feet as winter salts can be toxic to pup’s paw. Trim the excess hair on their paws to prevent ice buildup. Prevent foot cracks by moisturizing their feet. If the ground is too cold, again, invest in booties for your pooch.
Avoid exposure to toxins.
Toxins like antifreeze are very common and very harmful. Antifreeze in particular is sweet to taste and dogs won’t be able to tell. As sweet as it is, it is fatal even in small amounts. Keep an eye on where your dog plays and keep them out of places like garages and driveways where most people use antifreeze.
Beware of fire hazards.
Dogs will want to stay where it’s warm, but keep them out of exposed heat sources like radiators, thermal mass, electric heaters etc.
Don’t skip indoor exercise.
Keep them occupied with toys to play with and other indoor games to make sure they stay fit. Try games like fetch, hide and seek, find the treats etc
Dog Care for Summer
While winter is harsh, summer is more inviting with warmer weather. However, heat waves could sneak up on you and your dog.
These tips will help you stay cool regardless of the surge in temperature :
Beware of sunburn and heatstroke.
Some dogs can get sunburn, especially those with pink skin and little hair. Invest in a dog sunscreen and apply it when you go out when the sun is very hot. Let your dog stay in shady places.
Do not leave your pets in parked cars for any period.
In a closed car, the temperature can rise very quickly in a matter of minutes, reaching up to 100°C and your dog can get heatstroke. If you can’t take your pup with you, consider leaving them at home or tying their leashes to a good shady spot.
Keep them hydrated.
One thing that comes with hot weather is dehydration. It’s not just you that gets thirsty all the time. Keep your dog’s water bowl full and clean during the summer.
Terminate the bugs and parasites.
A usual occurrence that comes with summer is bugs. Ticks are most active from March to mid-May and from mid-August to November and are active any time the temperature is above freezing point. Watch where your dog stays and keep a dog anti-tick spray handy.
Dogs spend a lot of energy playing during summer but eat less. Feed your dog energy-dense and water-rich foods to help them stay healthy.
If your dog has a lot of furs, it should be well-groomed and clipped during the hot weather to help them stay cool.
Thick coats make them feel hotter and encourage bacterial and parasite habitation. Engage them in cleansing baths, brush their coats frequently, and give them nail trims.
Asphalt and other surfaces can be extremely hot during the summer so take care when going out. Check your dog’s paws regularly for burns, sores, and other abnormalities. Moisturize your dog’s paws regularly.
Signs Your Dog Needs To Go To The Vet
In all seasons, watch your dog’s body language for signs of discomfort, or illness. During summer, keep an eye out for excessive panting, drooling, high temperature, vomiting, and confusion. They could be signs of heatstroke.
In winter, watch out for depression, paleness, sluggishness, dilated pupils, increased heart rate, and inconsistent breathing. These could be symptoms of hypothermia.
Vet visits in all seasons are encouraged. Don’t hesitate to take them to the vet if you notice any of these symptoms.
Being sensitive to changes in weather and how they affect your dog could give you a great start to knowing how to care for him/her in and out of season. Always look out for more tips or actions to take that is peculiar to your puppy during winter/summer. No one knows your dog just as much as you do.
Also, caring for your canine is a great way to show them how much you love them.
Winter may be harsh, and summer may be cunning, but with these tips, you’re sure to keep your dog healthy and active at all times.
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