Caring for your dog during winter is something that we’ve not always found easy. As a child and an adult, I have always had a dog to care for. When I was younger, Mum did the majority of looking after our dogs. As I became a dog owner myself, I realised that caring for a dog was not as easy as Mum made it seem.
Adapting to Different Seasons
During the summer, our Floppy dog is outside a lot. She particularly enjoys running around in my parents’ garden. Floppy chases the ball, runs to the fence to tell passers by not to come too close and generally doesn’t stay still for long. S and H spend a lot of time running around with her. They have lots of fun!
In the winter, she is totally different. Floppy dog has never, ever liked going outside in the rain and will avoid it at all costs. We have not had too much snow here during the almost four years that she has been with us. When we did have snow though, she was curious to start with. After that, she wasn’t so keen at all. I know a lot of people that don’t like the rain or cold weather so dogs aren’t too dissimilar to humans. It think this is good to keep in mind when caring for your dog during winter.
Clumps of Snow in Fur
I remember my Gran and Grandad’s spaniel (Spot) walking around with snow on her, when I was younger. Her fur was often longer in the winter as she only had it cut in the summer. We had lots of snow one year. Spot was very lively and loved the snow. One day, she ended up with lots of snow attached to her fur in big clumps. It was all around the underneath part of her neck, in the fur on her ears and hanging from all the fur under her belly. After a while, she started to get shivery so we all had to set to and remove the snow clumps from her fur. We wrapped her up in a towel and went inside to keep her warm. After that, Gran and Grandad made sure that her fur was slightly shorter in the winter.
Giving Your Dog the Right Food
During the summer, Floppy eats a lot. Using up all of that energy means that she is a very hungry dog. In the winter though, she stays in more and becomes more lethargic. She likes to sleep more, especially as the evenings draw in. All this means that she needs less calories during the winter than in the summer. A combination of dry food, wet food along with a responsible amount of treats is a must for all seasons. We also give Floppy foods to help her teeth stay healthy. Over the years, we’ve found that giving all our dogs a balance of these foods helps them to feel much happier and healthier. Choosing the right dog food is very important. We like dog food by PEDIGREE®.
Unexpected Consequences of Winter
This week, Floppy has started to molt (shed her coat). She loses a little bit of fur now and again but this time of year is particularly noticeable. As she gets her winter coat of fur, our house becomes covered in layer of dog hair. Mum used to hoover all of the time when I was a child. Everywhere was always clean. Now I know why! This time of year means that I now need to use the hoover daily too. Caring for your dog during winter for me, means a lot of hovering.
A Cosy Place to Sleep
For the majority of this year, Floppy has slept well on her dog bed. Now it is chillier, she has decided that my bed is hers. When I get back from work, I tend to have a very hairy quilt cover. I’m not too keen on breathing in those dog hairs. I must admit, I have often taken to using the hoover to sweep away all the excess fluff. Floppy just wants to snuggle up and be comfy. I just wish she would snuggle up on her own bed. A top tip to reduce the shedding of dog hair would be to brush a dog’s coat regularly. We have found that brushing her coat once per day outside has helped a lot. The hairs get everywhere so doing this outside means that they don’t stick to the carpet and sofa as much.
Caring for your Dog During Winter: Our Top Tips
- Give your dog slightly less food in the winter, if they aren’t as active.
- Make sure you give your dog a mixture of dry food, wet food and a few treats for a balanced diet. Plenty of water is a must too.
- Brush fur coats daily to remove hair that is being shed. Do this outside so that it doesn’t stick to the carpets and furniture.
- Get your dog a cosy bed to snuggle up on when it gets chillier.
- For longer haired dogs, make sure snow doesn’t get trapped in their fur to make them very cold. A quick trim will help.
- Hoover up excess hair from the carpets. And your bed, if it gets as covered in fur as mine does!
How do you prepare your dog for winter? Share your tips below.