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Winter tips to keep your dog healthy

Posted by: Tim Berrisford  Date: 30/11/2013   Category: Pet Health

Many dog owners worry over the winter months about the health and well being of their dog as human’s immune systems tend to lower and people get winter coughs and cold. Follow these few simple steps to ensure your dogs health.

Firstly note down your dogs weight and keep a record of this safe. Every time they visit the vets pop them on the scales and add it to your notes.  It is perfectly normal for your dog to eat more during the colder months as this is their instinctive side coming out to keep them warm. If you think your dog is overweight it is important to bring this weight down as think will help them towards better healthy. It is vitally important that this is done in a healthy and controlled way and not at all to be drastic. Use a weight chart to track your dog’s progress and constantly check that your dog seems happy and their usual routine is being maintained. Look closely as ingredients of dog food and treat and choose the right one accordingly to your dog’s weight and needs.

Include a health activity to your dog’s routine. This is simple to do by either increasing walks or if you usually take your dog for two walks a day, include some games in one of the walk such as fetch. This is both enjoyable for the dog and also will increase their physical activity helping them lose weight and stay healthy.

Always ensure you visit your veterinarian often. Your vet will usually include a free health check with all vaccinations including kennel cough so if possible stage these appointments six months apart so your dog can be checked twice a year. If you have any worries about your pet you should always visit the vets to be safe as they can often notice illnesses and any problems early on. Your vet will be able to advise you whether your dog is healthy, is of the correct weight and help with advice on their nutrition.

Remember your dogs weight management plan is forever, once you have managed to bring the weight down to the correct amount you need to ensure this is a constant weight by ensuring your dog has regularly exercise and a good quality food plan which ticks all the correct boxes not only for their weight but also nutritional values.

When the temperature has dropped to freezing or below it can seem almost unfair on dogs to take them out for walks however it is still necessary to do this for their health and also to keep them happy as this is part of their routine and they all love their time outside. If you have a particularly small dog or one with no hair and you are worried about the cold affecting them, shorten their walks slightly so they won’t get as cold or include some running into your walk to keep them warm. You can always make sure your dog is wrapped up warm with dog clothing such as dog’s coats, scarf and even boots.

If you are worried about your dog in any way it is always best to visit your vet and put your mind at ease.