For us lucky ones who get to call Australia home, winter is peppered with more sunny and mild days than many other places around the world (especially in Perth!). We love a walk in the park on those crisp days with blue skies that winter brings.
However, there is still a significant drop in temperature compared to the summer months and it is felt by all animals, including our fur babies. Here are some top tips on how we can help out our dogs over the winter months...
1) How cold is too cold?
Smaller dogs, older dogs, and those with short coats may feel the pinch of cold temperatures more than others, so some clothing when stepping out for a winter walk may be the right choice.
If it’s too cold for you to stand at your door without a jacket, then it’s probably too cold for your dog too.
Be sure to find clothing options that provide a snug but not too tight fit and are free from irritating zippers or embellishments that could be a choking hazard.
It’s important to note that even with a thick coat provided by fur or from clothing, that their ears, nose, tail and paws are more exposed than the rest of the body.
If you notice your dog whining, shivering, appearing anxious or stopping play and looking for places to burrow then it’s time to bring them indoors.
2) Cozy sleep and snuggle time!
It’s most definitely snuggle season and by now, you’ve probably pulled out the thicker doona! Just as you’ve done for yourself, its now time to give your dog the same extra consideration.
Choosing the right bedding in winter is important to make sure your fur baby stays nice and warm during the colder nights. Warm blankets on a raised bed that is off cold tiles or concrete and away from drafts will create a snug environment for them.
For older dogs, dogs with ageing joints or dogs that sleep in particularly drafty or chilly parts of the house, you may want to consider heated bedding, a self-warming pet mat or a mat with a removable microwaveable heating pad.
3) Protect your dog from heaters
During the winter period, dogs will often seek heat by snuggling too close to heating sources. Electric radiators and fireplaces can pose a threat so ensure that there’s a pet proof system in place to keep them out of harms way!
4) Stay moisturised!
Moisturising is key in keeping your dog’s skin nourished and healthy during the winter months. The dry, cold winter days can cause the same effect on our doggos skin as it does on humans.
To help prevent dry and flaky skin, coconut oil is a an amazing natural moisturiser that can be added as a supplement to your dog’s food to keep their skin and coat healthy.
Luckily for those fur babies who enjoy our meals, coconut oil is already abundant in our meal plan and is included in both our Unleash the Beef and Boom Bang Lamb meals.
5) Keep feeding well-balanced
During winter, it may be tempting to overfeed your dog as they’re burning more calories to stay warm, especially if playing outside. However, be attentive to your dog’s activity levels and adjust their food intake accordingly.
A high quality, whole food, raw meat based diet as provided by WOLFit BOX will help maintain a healthy coat and good energy levels throughout the cold winter months.
6) Exercising in the dark
Dogs should continue to exercise as normal during the colder months. Without the sun, be aware of the colder temperature on their muscles. Exercise gently for the first five minutes, just like humans dogs need to warm up their muscles too.
Wintertime means shorter days which means if you’re exercising your pup in the early morning or evening it will most likely be darker outside. Therefore making sure your pup is visible in low light using high-visibility accessories is a great idea. Glow-in-the-dark toys are also really handy!
7) Good grooming
Looking good is feeling good in winter! The chilly months mean dogs need a clean, well-groomed coat to keep them properly insulated. If your dog loves the outdoors this is especially important to keep in mind.
After bathing, remember to dry your dog thoroughly before allowing them outside again. You may also want to check their paws more regularly as the colder winter ground can make paws more prone to dryness.
Keep these tips in mind through the winter months and your pup will come into Spring with a spring in their step!