Pets also feel the changes of seasons and thus the cold of the winter.
In spite of their fur, dogs and cats are not protected against a cold snap, some being more sensitive to it than others. The Scandinavian dogs, the chow, the St Bernard or coon Maine are much better provided with their dense and oily hair than the fine, short-haired animals or the mini-sizes (chihuahua, Yorkshire) of fragile constitution. The age and the weight also play a role: the young people, the seniors, the thin and the obese dogs are more sensitive to cold.
In this article I give you some pieces of advice, so that this season doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
Don’t let him get wet
The worst enemy is not the cold, but the humidity. A wet coat is not protective anymore, because what plays the role of insulating material is an air cushion imprisoned at the basis of hairs. Then, limit baths and dry well the fur after a stroll in the rain.
The brushing is important for a very warm coat
Better than the down jacket, the brushing! It increases the power isolating from some coat by aerating him, by removing the dead hairs and by spreading the sebum, this natural and protective oil. And, as the hair grow slowly in winter, avoid the shearing before the wintry weather. The Eurovet Veterinary Surgery Boutique can supply you all the necessary material.
A small jacket is welcome
The canine coat becomes more democratic, and this is better this way. During big cold, a warm model and windbreak (or a raincoat doubled by a pullover) is indispensable for the fragile dogs and those suffering from the back (degenerative osteoarthritis).
To avoid cracks, strengthen the small cushions of your dog with a solution, applied daily and at least fortnight before a departure to the snow. On the spot, before going out, protect them with a special wax ( PawWax). Also grease the end of ears and particularly the vulnerable scrotum of the males. In town, distrust the salt which makes snow disappear but irritates your animal’s legs. Think of rinsing them. Either put shoes on him or bootees doubled by wool.
Reduce the time spent outside
The time spent outside depends of the temperature: the colder the weather is, the less time you should stay out with your pet, especially if the weather is wet. Other useful information: the time spent outside is proportional to the size of your pet. So, ten minutes of rolls in the snow are enough for a bichon, whereas Labrador can have fun during hours. And for all the cats, the night-outgoing are banned.
Reduce the quantity of food
It is useless to give your pet more food just because it is cold outside. On the contrary: he needs less energy in winter, because he spends most of his time sleeping in the warmth of the house. Only the animals which live outside or do winter sports (huskies) have to receive a richer food, increased from 10 to 20 %.
Dr. F. Savary