As extreme weather becomes the norm, many dog owners are wondering how this affects their furry friends. The answer: more than you may think.
See, a lot of people think that a dog's fur makes them immune to extreme heat and cold. That's a myth—and a dangerous one, too. The truth is, your dog may need extra precautions to regulate their body temperature!
Want to know more about how to protect dogs from heat and cold? Start by taking a look at the following dog health and safety tips!
Heat: Watch Out for Heatstroke
Dogs that are overweight, very old, or very young are at a higher risk of heatstroke. The same applies to flat-faced breeds such as bulldogs.
If your dog is in this group, keep an eye out for them on hot days. Common signs of heatstroke in dogs are heavy panting and rapid breathing. Other symptoms include a lack of coordination, fever, and vomiting.
If your dog is suffering from heatstroke, move them to a shaded area right away. Give them cold water and use dog cooling supplies to help them recover. Then, take them to a veterinarian—just in case.
Cold: Give Them Nutritious Food
When it's cold, dogs expend more energy to maintain body heat. In general, anything below 65 degrees will make your furry friend work harder.
To help your dog get through the winter, consider adding more nutrition to their diet. A balanced diet includes fats, carbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Of course, any dog food your buy should be fresh.
Your dog should also get enough fluids, even in cold temperatures. If they spend a lot of time outdoors, consider getting them a heated water bowl. Check it twice a day to ensure the water isn't contaminated.
Heat: Limit Their Exercise
Yes, limiting a dog's exercise is good advice in all extreme temperatures. That said, this tip is particularly effective on very hot days.
First, only take your dog for a walk in the morning or evening. That gives the ground enough time to cool, making it more comfortable to walk on. This is particularly important for short-nosed pets who have difficulty breathing.
Adjusting your walking route can also reduce health risks for dogs. If you're used to intense hilly hikes, switch them up for gentle strolls on hot days. If possible, walk your pooch over grass rather than asphalt.
Cold: Protect Their Paws
Dog boots are a great way to keep your pet's paws dry and clean. The issue: some pets need more time to get used to this form of winter dog care.
If your dog is reluctant to wear boots, introduce them gradually. Start by putting a boot on one paw when the pooch is inside, then give them a treat. Repeat the process until they link the boots with positive rewards.
If the pooch still refuses boots, consider moisturizing their paws instead. Cold weather can dry out their pads quickly, so they need some protection against it. Don't forget to clean their paws when they enter the house!
This Is How to Protect Dogs From Heat and Cold
As you can see, it takes a lot of effort to protect dogs from heat and cold. That said, this isn't too different from taking care of yourself. If you use common sense, there's nothing to worry about!
Want to make an extra effort to protect dogs from cold weather? Check out our collection of dog clothes!