The temperature is starting to drop, and winter ills and chills aren't exclusive to humans! Dogs also need a bit of TLC to get them through the winter cold, and Beth Bryant from Purina New Zealand has some top tips for looking after your pup this season.
Keeping dogs fit and healthy
Dogs need regular outdoor exercise, even in the depths of winter. Though it may not be so appealing for you to go out on a cold, wet day, your dog still needs a run around. So wrap up warm and head out - your dog will love you for it! I also like to grab myself a hot takeaway coffee on the way home, so it's a sneaky treat for me too!
Well-nourished dogs are better prepared to withstand the cold winter winds. Dogs may need a little more food than normal to generate enough energy to stay warm, particularly if they're kept outdoors. Provide your dog with fresh water several times during the day, and if you're in an area where water can freeze, you can purchase an electrically heated water bowl (they're safe, I promise!).
If pets usually sleep outside, it may be time to bring them indoors. Put dog kennels in the garage or the laundry, and consider adding an extra blanket to their bed. If dogs are kept outside, make sure their shelter is insulated, elevated, protected from prevailing winds and watertight. The shelter should also be small enough to preserve the dog's body heat, but large enough to be comfortable.
Dog clothes aren't just a fashion statement reserved for Chihuahua-toting celebrities! Short-haired dogs, senior dogs, puppies and dogs with health problems are more prone to the cold, so may need a dog jacket to keep them warm.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pet this winter, Purina New Zealand offers a FREE advice service at 0800 PET VIP (0800 738 847). A dedicated team of pet care experts, including veterinary nurses and animal behaviourists, is available to offer advice and support on a wide range of pet care questions, from health and nutrition to behaviour, training and socialisation, as well as information about Purina products.
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