With anything in life, there are myths and hearsay. When it comes to dogs, this is no different. You may have come across certain ‘facts’ before and taken them on face value. But in the interest of helping all dog owners out there, we have taken the time to debunk some winter dog myths for you.
A Dog’s Fur Keeps Them Warm
Certain breeds, such as the Husky and the American Eskimo Dog are perfectly suited to colder climates, but not all coats are the same. This means that not every dog is well-protected from the elements in the winter months.
However, even for dogs that do have fur that is seemingly suitable for winter, it doesn’t mean that they’re immune to extreme weather conditions such as frostbite and hypothermia. Ideally, dogs should have a coat for walking in cold conditions, whether they have a thicker coat or are short-haired.
You Can Feed Dogs the Same Amount All Year-Round
As temperatures fall, adjusting their food might be necessary. People come up with all kinds of reasons why a dog should eat the same quantity of food that they do in more active months, but in reality, owners are less inclined to exercise their dogs in winter because people don’t like to head out in the cold weather.
Therefore, less exercise means that dogs burn off fewer calories. When dogs are expending fewer calories, they don’t need as much food for energy. If you keep feeding dogs the same amount but exercising them less, they’ll become overweight through the winter and that’s unhealthy.
Dogs Don’t Require the Same Amount of Water in Winter
Dogs get dehydrated and thirsty, regardless of the season. When the winter months come around, dry air ensues. What’s more, dogs lose a lot of their body moisture when they are panting and breathing heavily.
No matter how cold or wet it is outside, it’s essential that you keep your dog well-hydrated so that they can remain happy and healthy. Pay close attention to this point before and after walks as well as other types of physical activity to prevent your beloved pet from becoming dehydrated.
You Can Forget About Fleas and Ticks
Fleas and ticks will gladly take comfort in a warm shelter during those cold winter months. This means that they could well be relocating to a spot, or spots, in your home!
This is why it is really important that you stay on top of your flea and tick inspections on your pet. You should also remain on track with any medication etc., in order to keep irritants like these at bay.
What’s more, if your dog does get fleas or ticks, they’ll almost certainly start scratching themselves more which can do more damage to their skin when it’s already extra drier than usual because of the weather.
Dogs Only Need Booties on Longer Walks
While some dog owners find them awkward to put on, and their dog might squirm about too, the hard work of putting on paw protection is essential during winter.
A dog’s paws have to endure a great deal throughout the winter. Simply by walking around, dogs are at risk of suffering from injury and frostbite. What’s more, there’s the harmful salt that is scattered on lots of surfaces they walk on. The salt is damaging because it sets off a reaction that makes their paws burn.
Furthermore, dogs can absorb harmful chemicals as well as anti-freeze through their paw pads, which can be very bad for their well-being. So, even if they look silly and they take some work to put on, remember those booties whether it’s a short walk or a long one.