The cold season is coming fast and even if low temperatures are not exactly what we’ve waited for, we need to get ourselves and our dogs ready for this period, to enjoy the first snowflakes that bring joy to our souls year after year.
As we take actions to protect ourselves from the cold, so we should with our non-speaking family members. Luckily for us, man’s best friends love the cold. Animals would rather have a cool vacation in Alaska than a suffocating summer in the desert. Although they adapt easily to lower temperatures, they still need practice. To be familiarized with the cold, dogs need to exercise.
In case of our Caucasian Shepherd dogs, the transfer to cold will be normal as they are outdoor animals and more specifically because this race comes from the region of the former Soviet Union that is well-known for cold winters. Another thing that helps is the fat they accumulate along the year, the way dogs thermally insulate their bodies.
As we ourselves prefer a dry and warm place during cold days, our dogs’ house should be the same. It is very important for the dog’s rest place to be permanently dry. Inside its house, as a comfy mattress, place a thick layer of straws. Be careful, straws! Avoid the use of textiles, as they are very hard to dry and the heat loss at the level of the animal’s body will be faster. Do not place the doghouse directly on the ground, as there is a risk for snow or water to flood the dog’s home.
Don’t forget about the diet. It is a very important factor for your dog’s health. It is mandatory to supplement the food portion and to make it richer in proteins, to maintain a healthy fur. The food quantity can be up to 30% higher that in the warm period. Click here if you want to find more about feeding a Caucasian Shepherd.
Be careful with the water!
The water bowl should be checked permanently, as there is a risk for the water to freeze during the winter and animals can become thirsty. Even if they can eat snow from time to time, it doesn’t satisfy the body’s need for hydration.
Another important aspect with regard to food is that both food and water need to be provided in plastic bowls. Avoid the use of metal containers, as there is a risk for the dog’s tongue to be stuck to the surface of the bowl due to low temperatures.
Take great care with the dogs’ pads!
We all know how uncomfortable we feel when our heels get cracked, so we should avoid that for our pets. Just like us, they can suffer from pad cracks. We can avoid that by maintaining the area clean, with the hair cut short to prevent ice forming. Let’s not forget about salt and deicing solutions spread on roads, which are very corrosive and toxic for animals. In extreme cases, we can protect the dogs’ paws using bootees.
In case of junior dogs, it is a little bit more complicated, because they feel the cold more due to reduced fat. They need to be dressed up in special clothes to limit heat losses.
Let’s not forget vaccination. It is mandatory because there are a lot of flu strains during the cold season.
As dogs are like babies, the coming of winter can be a moment of joy! But we need to take all the necessary actions to protect and keep our best friends healthy!