Arguably, a dog is man’s best friend. Though many cat-lovers may raise their hands in dissent, it’s safe to say most of humanity would agree. When it comes to companionship, dogs are everywhere. They walk with you. They guard you and grow old with you. You could even say they’re in reality men-in-fur-clothing. And who wouldn’t adore dogs? In 1789, King Frederick of Prussia, the man who coined the words “man’s best friend,” said that there is only one that won’t deny or betray him in this selfish world. The royal leader was referring to his Italian Greyhound.
And he’s right. Think of how dogs hold a central role in police work. No animal has gone thus far. That tells you that dogs are truly a blessing to humanity.
Therefore, taking care of them this winter is just giving our furry friend a salute, a timely return of their service. When these loyal animals are alive, and well, they allow us to be happy too. Right? The question now is how to go about it. In this regard, tried-and-tested practices should help us. Know that, like humans, dogs are also negatively affected by winter. Just think of the many times a walk in the park is but a memory now that winter is upon us. But we should go the extra mile. Dogs did go far beyond the usual to serve man.
Keep Them Warm and Cozy
There’s a tendency for dogs to be S.A.D. in winter. We’re talking about the seasonal affective disorder. Research done by the PDSA, UK’s leading veterinary charity, showed that dogs appear depressed when the sweater weather comes waltzing in.
Well, winter means it’s no fun playing outside. And that may have some dire consequences for a dog. Telltale signs of S.A.D. include sleeping more and grumpiness. The animal may even have increased appetite too.
You may give them a break every once in a while and walk them outside in the snow. A change of scenery can do the animal some good.
Remember, though, that if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s also too cold for the dog. So keep them warm and cozy inside. Breeds with thick fur such as Saint Bernards and Huskies may adapt to the cold better. But those with far less, such as Greyhounds, are definitely at risk of the cold.
Of course, having an energy-efficient dwelling is a good start. That means your precious abode is free of drafts that invite the cold weather in. Not only is it giving optimal heating for everyone, but it also makes sure your dog is getting all the warmth he needs to fight the cold months ahead.
But be careful, though. Keep your dog away from the heaters and the fireplace. That should include the lighted candle. What can burn you can burn your furry friend too.
Dog House Don’ts
As a rule, it’s beneficial for your dog to stay indoors when the winter months are at its height. However, if you allow them to get out and spend time in the dog house, you have to make sure the place is also winter-proof.
This means the mini-house must be well-insulated, too, free of drafts. Don’t just position the shelter any way you please. As much as possible, its door should face south. That way, it will be less of a target of strong winds.
Now, putting a cozy towel or blanket for your dog to keep warm may not be a good idea. It may make matters worse for them. When moisture gets the cloth wet, then it could freeze, giving your dog a headache. A better alternative would be to use hay or straw.
Feed Them Right
Don’t forget winter changes everything, including your dog’s food. So make sure you regularly check your furry friend’s water bowl. You will have to replace it if it freezes over. Remember that the winter, and not just the summer, can dehydrate your dog too. And yes, all that snow is no substitute for the merits of water.
You may have to adjust their food during the winter months. Some dogs get more active in winter to compensate for the cold weather. If that’s the case, their appetite should go up. Feed them accordingly.
Holiday Treats Galore
Well, the virus is still raging on, so there may not be as much partying as before. The problem with parties is your dog could be left behind. When they’re out of your mind, they could be exposed to various risks.
For instance, you need to make sure grapes and chocolates are not within their immediate reach. These are toxic to dogs. It may take only one grapefruit to cause renal failure. And don’t forget raisins while you’re at it. Raisins are grapes that have lost their moisture.
The tasks may sound taxing. But when you have your dog’s best interest at heart, keeping them safe and sound is never a tall order. It’s a relief as it’s doing something good for someone close to your heart.