Tuesday, October 19, 2010
As cooler weather moves in, there are certain things that responsible pet owners should take care of before winter hits. Autumn is the ideal time to do several basic pet maintenance tasks to ensure that your dog has a warm and comfortable winter.
Bath and Treatments - I always give my dog a good end-of summer-bath, followed by all the basic grooming and treatment applications. Fall seems to be a time when dogs experience some itching and allergic reactions that affect their skin. Finding and treating itchy hot spots, applying flea and tick prevention medication, cleaning ears, and clipping nails are all part of fall bath time around my house.
Check Equipment - Fall is a good time to do an end-of-season check of all collars, leashes, harnesses, fences, leads and runs. You don’t want to end up chasing your dog through the cold of the winter weather when he escapes from a broken fence or when his leash breaks. That is definitely not on my to-do list; I prefer to hibernate in the winter. Making sure these items are all in good condition before the snow flies is a good way to prevent having to wander the streets calling for Fido in cold temperatures.
Outdoor Preparations - If your dog spends time outdoors in the winter, it is crucial to make sure he has clean warm bedding and shelter from the elements. A garage or a large insulated doghouse will make a big difference in the warmth and comfort of your outdoor pet. All outdoor bedding should be washed and treated for fleas and ticks before replacing it in the dog’s space.
Remember that the cooler weather may be a relief from the heat of summer, but winter presents its own challenges to the health and comfort of your dog. Provide plenty of water, and premium quality dog food such as CANIDAE to keep your dog’s energy and metabolism up. Also keep in mind that just because you may not want to go out walking in the cold weather, your dog still needs to get exercise. A fenced yard or run can be the answer to your prayers throughout the winter months.
Winter Coat Care - Be sure your dog brush is up to par and ready for a busy season of brushing as your dog grows a thicker winter coat. And if your dog lives indoors, that same thick coat will likely shed throughout the winter since it is too warm for inside.
Another thing to check at this time is your vacuum, because a house full of dog hair and a broken vacuum do not go together. Dog hair is very hard on filters and vacuum cleaners in general. Until our most recent purchase 2 years ago, we had to buy a new vacuum every year. My new vacuum is made for homes with pets, and if you are a dedicated pet owner you may want to look into one of these. They are available from a few different brands and have great attachments for pet hair.
Autumn is the time when many people make home repairs and preparations for winter; your dog and his supplies should also fall into those preparations. This way, you know that you and your canine friend are prepared for cold weather, and that your dog will have a comfortable, warm winter no matter how cold the winds blow.
Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie