Do you take your dog with you when you go hunting, cross country skiing, or any other fall and winter sports? You put a thick coat on and still do not feel comfortable. Well think of your dog. He should be conditioned also. Just like you and I, it takes time to get into shape gradually. If your pooch happens to be a couch potato, you need to get him out and begin conditioning him. Here are some helpful hints…
1. Get an update on your vaccinations and have your veterinarian examine your pet’s heart, lungs, muscles, tendons, joints, and foot pads. Older dogs with hip or elbow dysplacia suffer more in colder weather and may need some pain reliever.
2. Spend time with your dog outside everyday.
3. Provide a good diet. This will help grow a thick winter coat, strengthen muscles, and provide fuel for running and keeping warm.
4. Brush your dog regularly to get rid of loose and dead hair and bring out the natural oils that moisturize and waterproof your dog’s coat.
5. Have your dog sleep in a cooler place rather than by the fireplace to help build up his coat.
6. Have towels to wipe off and dry his paws.
7. Be sure he has drinking water. Do not let it freeze. Dehydration contributes to hypothermia.
8. Have some high fat, moderate protein energy snacks available.