November 2013 Tip – Winter Is On Its Way: Tips for Staying Healthy


Skiing DogAs the weather changes, consider the following tips to help keep your pet safe and healthy all winter long!

  • Keep the Immune system strong. Be sure to feed a complete species appropriate diet. Also have your pet checked for parasites and treat them if present.
  • Support the nervous system. Add B complex daily to your dog’s diet to help strengthen the nervous system.
  • Keep exercising. Continue walks, playing ball, and other games to keep your dog mentally stimulated, happy, and healthy – and to keep off those extra pounds! When the weather is severe, switch to indoor activities, such as tug of war or obedience activities.
  • Consider body work at least twice per month. You can do massage yourself or take your pet to a professional body worker. Try pet massage, chiropractic, or polarity.
  • Protect your pet from the elements. Your pet is part of the family and should be housed indoors, if possible. If your pet must stay outdoors, provide him a warm, well-insulated place to live that is out of the elements. The space should be small enough to maintain body heat and there should be blankets or other bedding material provided. Those pets housed indoors should be provided a warm, soft place to rest. Fancy beds are nice, but an old blanket, towel, or rug is fine too.
  • In the most severe weather, keep unattended outdoor potty time to a minimum.
  • Keep fresh drinking water available. It is as important for your pet to stay well hydrated in the winter as it is in the summer. If your pet must live outdoors, make certain his water is not frozen.
  • Put a sweater on elderly and sick dogs, as well as on dogs that are tiny, have light coats or thin body types.
  • Tend to the feet. Keep the hair between toes clipped to help prevent snow from sticking to it. Apply a product, such as petroleum jelly to pads for protection before going outside. Consider dog boots if your dog will wear them. Remember to wash and dry feet when your pet comes inside, particularly if he has walked on surfaces treated with de-icers. Finally, check the paws twice weekly for dry, crack pads and apply a moisturizer, such as Bag Balm, if needed.
  • Protect your pet from potentially toxic holiday foods, plants, and decorations.

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