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Cold floors, overcast skies and chilly winds have all of us reaching for our warm socks and thick sweaters. Each season brings with it, specific needs for both people and their pets. So, what can you do to prepare your dogs for these increasingly cold winters?
Dogs may love climbing into bed with you at night, but it is important for them to have their own space as well. Create a cosy spot with a comfy dog bed and add a blanket to make it warmer. Senior dogs may benefit from an orthopaedic bed that is easy to step on to and offers sufficient support. If your pet likes to follow you around the house and naps wherever you’re working, a pet mat can help keep them off chilly floors. Pet mats are easy to move around and can be spread out almost anywhere. These also come in handy on car rides.
HUFT Tip: Remember to position beds and pet mats away from cold drafts that may blow in from doors and windows.
Golden paste is a combination of turmeric and coconut oil, adding small doses to your pet’s daily diet offers a myriad health benefits including strengthening their immune system. For older dogs with joint pains, MyBeau is a commonly recommended supplement. Dry winters can be harsh on your pet’s coat and skin, My Beau also offers supplements that keep the coat healthy. It’s best to consult a certified canine nutritionist or your vet beforehand. Nutritious bone broth (store-bought or homemade) is a comforting addition to your pet’s meals. Fish-based treats and food contain Omega fatty acids which contribute to the health of the fur.
HUFT Tip: When introducing a new treat, food or supplement to your pet’s diet make sure you start really small. Assess your pet’s reaction and then gradually increase dosage.
Crusty and cracked noses are quite common in the winter. Dab a little bit of our natural Snout Butter to moisturize those dry noses. We often miss noticing cracked paw pads so make it a point to check. Cracked paw pads can make walking quite painful for dogs. Applying Paw Balm routinely keeps them well-hydrated and whole.
A common misconception is that sweaters and jackets for dogs are just for the ‘style factor’ because dogs have fur coats that keep them warm anyway. It’s true that their natural fur coats offer some protection but the coats may not be strong enough to offer sufficient warmth from very cold weather. Senior dogs especially feel the cold much more and may need additional protection. Use a sizing guide to choose the right fit for your dog.
HUFT Tip: Even winter days experience highs and lows in temperature. So, remember to keep the sweater on only for a few hours at a time. Keep an eye on your dog, if he or she is starting to feel hot and uncomfortable, take the sweater off – you don’t want your pet to overheat.
Winters tend to dry out the skin and coat so don’t forget to use conditioners after the shampoo is rinsed off. A conditioner helps keep the coat moisturised and soft. A soothing coconut oil massage not only calms your pet but also encourages blood circulation and moisturises the coat. There are few things as unpleasant as having a wet coat in cold weather so be sure to dry your pet off thoroughly with an absorbent microfiber towel. Let the coat dry completely in the sun. If the sun is not out, we recommend that you make an appointment at a pet spa where they can dry the coat well with a professional pet dryer.
HUFT Tip: If your pet doesn’t like baths, have a fiend hold up a KONG filled with just a bit of (pet friendly) peanut butter. This will give your pet something else to focus on.
Dogs are likely to grow new winter coats, so there may be a lot of shedding as the season turns. Use a suitable brush for your pet’s coat to capture shed hair. Not only does this let the skin breathe but catching the fur at the source prevents it from spreading around the house. Regular brushing also helps spread natural oils across the coat, helping it stay soft and glossy.
HUFT Tip: If your dog gets wet in the rain or you decide to give your pet a bath, be sure to dry them off thoroughly after.
As days become shorter and we often wake up to misty mornings, visibility can become an issue. Figure out the safest time of the day to take your pet for a walk and change your route to a safer one if required. Switching to collars, leashes and harnesses with reflective elements in them will help alert drivers to the presence of your pet in low light conditions.
Games that are mentally stimulating can tire your pet out more easily than physical exercise. If bad weather is forcing your pet to stay indoors for longer periods of time, invest in interactive puzzles and games that encourage sniffing. Snuffle mats, Nina Ottosson’s puzzles and KONG toys stuffed with treats are popular with doggies.
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