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Winter isn’t far off now: the temperatures are dropping steadily, and the days are already getting quite short. Many people are already (reluctantly) storing their summer things and pulling cold-weather gear. As you get ready for the cold, you’ll also need to take a few steps to get your pooch prepared. A local Ada, MI vet offers some tips in this article.
Fido won’t be comfortable sleeping on a cold, hard floor. Make sure he has a clean, comfy bed. Or two. Or three. It’s always good to have options!
Snow, salt, ice, and chemical de-icing products can all be pretty rough on Fido’s toe beans. Protect his paw pads by applying a paw balm or wax. (Vaseline will work in a pinch.) You can also try getting your furry pal used to wearing booties. While not all dogs will tolerate them, some seem to appreciate the protection from icy ground.
Antifreeze is one of the most common poisoning risks in pets. When filling your car, mop up any spills right away, and put sand or cat litter on damp spots. Or, better yet, invest in pet-safe brands. These don’t have the sweet taste many animals find appealing. We’d also recommend going for pet-safe de-icing products.
Many pups shed a bit more than usual at this time of year, as they change into their winter outfits. Fido may need to get brushed more than usual. If you bathe him at home, get him nice and clean before it gets cold. Taking Fido to the groomer’s? Book him an appointment. Holiday schedules tend to fill up fast, so it’s not a bad idea to get ahead of the curve.
Arthritis is very common in older dogs. Keep an eye out for warning signs, such as limping, stiffness, and reduced interest in play or exercise. If your canine pal already has arthritis, you may need to pamper him a bit. For instance, Fido may appreciate a thermal or heated bed. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Does your pooch have thin fur? Make sure that all his winter gear is clean, in good condition, and still fits him well.
Fleas and ticks are still around at this time of year. In fact, they may be trying to get indoors. Keep up with Fido’s preventative care!
You may be walking your canine companion after dark quite a bit over the next few months. Consider getting a leash with a built-in flashlight. Fido should also have a reflective harness or collar.
Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Ada, MI animal hospital!