As dog parents, we always want to do the best for our furry friends. The colder months are always a little more challenging than summer. But whether you’ve recently added a puppy to the family household or have been with your pooch for years, this winter could be tougher than most.
The impacts of COVID-19 will limit the possibilities in many aspects of dog care. However, you cannot afford to let it prevent your pup from receiving the love and care they deserve. Here are some tips to keep you on top of the situation throughout the early parts of 2021:
Protection from the cold:
The first job facing all dog owners is to keep them protected from the cold weather in winter. A continued commitment to fighting off frostbite and other dangers with dog shoes and coats can make a big impact. You should also use flea sprays and other protective items.
Prevention is the best form of protection at all times. While veterinary services are still open in most places, appointments may be harder to get. So, if you can avoid them altogether through improved winter care, you must grab that opportunity right away.
Pay extra care to nutrition:
A healthy dog is a happy dog, and nutrition remains the central feature. A balanced diet supported by the best dog treats will ensure that your pooch gets the right nutrients all winter. When combined with any necessary supplements, your dog’s health will soar.
It’s very easy to forget about hydration in the winter, but your dog cannot be left to go thirsty, either. Be sure to check out how much liquid a dog of your breed and size should take on each day. On a side note, brain games for dog treats are great to promote mental stimulation.
It’s inevitable that outdoor activities will suffer a reduction in the winter months. While this is true every year, the fact that some attractions are off-limits due to the pandemic does make it harder. Nonetheless, getting your dog out for regular exercise is as essential as ever.
Walking a combination of their favorite routes and new spots is vital for mental stimulation. Moreover, the activity promotes healthy bones, muscles, and joints. The benefits won’t always be seen right away, but you’ll notice them in the future. It’s good for weight management too.
Create a comfy home environment:
Getting outside on a frequent basis is pivotal for your dog’s health. Nonetheless, they will be spending more time at home. So, you owe it to your pooch to ensure that it is a comfortable environment. A great dog bed and plenty of toys should be at the top of the agenda.
If the dog is a new addition to the family, you’ll also need to think about introducing them to other pets. Even the notoriously challenging dog-cat relationship can be a lot simpler to manage than you might first think. The impact it will have in winter and beyond is huge.
Spend time near other dogs:
First and foremost, you must respect the current social distancing restrictions in your local area. However, if you are able to meet a friend for outside walks, this is a great way for dogs to stay socially active. This is crucial for their mental health and emotional stimulation.
While it’s something that dogs need every year, its benefits will be greater than ever over the coming weeks. It might not be possible to do this every day, but you should aim to do it several times each week. Of course, this will be easier if you have multiple dogs.
Invest in good home grooming:
Some dog grooming companies will continue to offer a COVID-safe service. However, the chances of getting the same level of care that you’d usually receive are quite slim. Therefore, you must try to compensate for this by giving your pup the right home treatments.
Finding the best dog brush, nail clippers, and toothbrushes will serve you well. For the true dog parlor vibe, luxury shampoos and conditioners can be used too. Once you embrace the habit, you may find that your reliance on professionals is reduced after the pandemic too.
Think about the heat:
When at home in the cold weather, we all gravitate towards heat sources. However, this can be a danger for dogs if they get too close to heaters and run the risk of dehydration and skin burns. Therefore, radiator covers and fire guards are vital additions. Do it ASAP.
Good air circulation will certainly help the situation while also reducing the threat of bacteria growth. The potential issues with the heat also provides a reason to ensure that water is readily available for your dog throughout the day.
Snug as a bug.
Manage the backyard:
The backyard is a spot where your dog will gain regular exercise and stimulation. Sadly, if you do not take winter precautions, there’s a risk that they will escape. For example, snow can quickly build up against fences to create potential escape routes.
Likewise, adverse weather could damage panels to create further escape routes for your pup. So, if you wish to avoid this problem, it’s important to inspect the yard each morning before letting the pup out to play. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Perhaps most importantly, your dog needs love and attention at this time. And frankly, given your lack of human interaction, it’s vital for you too. Playing games with your pet will deliver mutual mental health rewards. When your dog is happier, it will show in their behavior.
The key is to avoid long-term spells without seeing the pup. For many people, that will be easier than ever due to working from home. If you are still at the office, though, you must find alternative solutions. A dog sitter may not be possible at this time, though, so it’s important to be as present as you can.
Do right by your pups this winter with the tips above. Stay safe!
Featured Image By: Pixabay