We’re in south here, so oftentimes cold weather alludes us. I know I’ve talked to people who live up in the northern part of the U.S. and they are grabbing their coats while I’m still in shorts. However, when I took Pilot out a few days ago for our morning routine and noticed him trembling, I knew it was time for a sweater.
Now, I’m not the kind of person that dresses their dog up on a regular basis because HE’S A DOG, but I didn’t like seeing him cold, so this was bought out of more of a necessity than anything else. At first it wasn’t fun and Pilot HATED IT. He ran, he hid, he did everything he could to avoid this evil monster that his human had brought home and was currently trying to attack him. BUT, I learned that by slowly introducing the sweater and showing him that it was harmless and won’t hurt him, he’s been able to accept it.
I have never been one for dressing up my pets in any kind of costume or anything like that because they’re…well their dogs, they aren’t humans. But I also know that if I’m cold, it’s more than likely my dog is too, and so I wanted to make sure I did everything I could to keep Pilot warm (Scarlett on the other hand was a much bigger, furrier dog and could take the cold a bit better, but even then she was always kept inside if it was lower or higher than a certain temperature outside). Always be sure that your pets have a nice warm place to sleep at night, provide proper heating, make sure you keep up a good grooming routine (no trimming or shaving as your pet will need their full coat weight in order to stay warm and insulated) to keep out the mats as matted fur does not insulate well. Make sure you bathe your dog indoors. Make sure they are completely dried off before letting them outside. Give fewer baths during cold snaps, or consider skipping baths altogether. In cold weather, it’s going to take your animal friends a lot longer to dry off and make sure the water is a proper temperature when you do, because if the water is too cold it could make your dog sick. Pilot and I do not live in an area where there is lots of ice and snow, but if you do it might be a good idea to keep the hair around your animal friend’s paw pads trimmed. This should keep ice and snow, as well as the chemicals used to treat iced over areas out of our dog’s hair. And if you’re friend is willing, see if they will wear booties. Lastly, avoid overfeeding. It is important for pets to eat well during the colder months in order to provide themselves with energy and warmth, however if your pet happens to be an indoor one, increasing their food over the winter might not be a good idea as it could cause obesity. The best thing to do is to have a conversation with your veterinarian about your pets energy and food intake needs. And also, make sure they have access to clean, unfrozen water both indoors and outside.
I do not consider myself an expert on dogs, cats, or any other animals, so always make sure that you have a conversation with your veterinarian about anything you are concerned about.
Keep your tail waggin’!