Winters in Canada are long. And whether you get heavy snow storms or relentless rain, dealing with the cold and moisture can be a challenge for your dog's health. Below are my top 5 tips to help keep your dog healthy throughout the winter months.
1. When your dog comes in from the rain, dry them off as best you can
Wet or damp fur is an ideal incubator for fungi and bacteria. Make sure that you rub down your dog after your walk. You can also blow dry your dog's fur to fend off the dampness. And during the rainy season, bathing your dog can be tedious and messy so a good tip is to use a dog dry shampoo instead of giving your dog regular baths.
2. Keep your dog's bedding dry
There is nothing better than having a warm, dry bed to sleep in during the rainy season, but if your dog spends a lot of time on their bed, they can get damp and moldy. This is especially bad for senior dogs.
3. Clean your dog's paws
Paws can easily harbor pathogens or vectors of diseases, so wipe them off thoroughly regularly and after each walk outside so they stay healthy and toe-jam free.
4. Clean your dog's ears
Your dog can contract ear infections during the rainy season. Moisture easily accumulates in dogs with closed ears such as Dachshunds, Labradors, and Basset Hounds. Earwax and moisture come together and cause ear infections. Just like the paws, ears should always be kept dry, especially after your walk outside. If your dog has long, closed ears, you need to go the extra mile to keep them dry and clean.
5. Keep an eye out for rogue infections
During the rainy season, infections of all types can be rampant. Signs that your dog has an infection or allergies are: constant licking of body parts, scratching, odorous ears, and itching. Itchiness may indicate fungal/bacterial infections or allergies. These can be caused by the inability of moisture to escape from the skin's surface. Dog breeds that have deep skin folds, such as Boxers and Pugs, are particularly prone to such skin infections. Be sure to consult your vet if you notice signs of infections or allergies.
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Note: The tips on this website are general in nature, and A Capable Dog acknowledges that all dogs are individuals. For professional advice, diagnoses and treatment options for your specific dog, consult with your trainer, veterinarian or other animal health practitioner.