Save dogs from biting cold in winter for good health: Vet Varsity Expert

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Ludhiana, December 13, 2017: It is important to pay special attention to your dog's well-being during the winter season. Dr. Kirti Dua, Incharge Wild life Centre and Professor of Veterinary Medicine, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary & Animal Sciences University shared that for preventing the dogs from cold, don't leave your dog outside in the cold for long periods of time. It is always better to walk him in the late morning or early afternoon hours when temperatures are a little warmer, and avoid early morning or late evening walks. Some dog breeds have dense undercoats that help protect them against very cold temperature, but most dogs should have a coat to prevent them from winter.

He revealed that tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place your dog's bed in a warm spot; away from drafts, cold tile or uncarpeted floors. Dogs will often seek heat during the cold winter weather by snuggling too close to heating sources which can severely burn them. So be very careful of supplemental heat sources and make sure that all portable heaters and lamps are out of reach.

It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated, so additional calories are necessary if he spends lot of time outdoors. But if he is not staying out and spending lot of energy then don’t over feed him. Alcohol and chocolate are toxic for dogs, even in small amounts. Keep unhealthy, sweet treats and seasonal goodies out of reach.

Dr. Dua said that pay special attention to your dog’s paws during the colder months, and be on the lookout for any sore patches, cracks or cuts. It is important to dry and clean its paws. A little petroleum jelly may soften the pads and prevent further cracking. Dogs can dehydrate just as quickly in the winter as summer. So provide plenty of fresh water.

Groom your dog regularly. Your dog needs a well-groomed coat to keep properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. After bathing, dry your dog adequately, especially before allowing him outdoors. Towel or blow-dry your dog if it gets wet from rain.

Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous. Antifreeze is sweet in taste and dogs will readily lick or drink it. Antifreeze is extremely toxic and just a small amount can be fatal for dogs. Keep your dog out of the garage and off the driveway where they may encounter antifreeze or other harmful chemicals.

Like people, dogs seem to be more susceptible to illness in the winter. Cold weather will often aggravate existing medical conditions in dogs, particularly arthritis. It is very important to maintain an exercise regimen with your arthritic dog. Keep them warm and take your dog to a veterinarian if you see any suspicious symptoms.

Date: 
Wednesday, December 13, 2017