Lethargy, depression, fatigue, social withdrawal and sleeplessness are found in human beings during winter. Dogs also have these physical and mental conditions during winter. These symptoms in dogs are referred as 'Seasonal Affective Disorder'(SAD) in psychology.
The main reason for Winter Blues in dogs is having 'less sunshine'. Make sure you arrange a bed close a window where you get sunshine or make sure you take your dog out for a walk in bright light for at least three-quarters of an hour.
In addition, Here, is our list of 7 most important things to take care of during this winter.
- What you feed: December being month of celebration and holidays we indulge on food and gifts. Our beloved Pets deserve varieties in food this holiday season, don't they? Yes. They do !. But Dog food is different from our food. Never feed the leftovers to the pets! Meat, sweet potatoes and pumpkin are very good but spicy gravies and dessert are very toxic for pets. Include antioxidant-rich foods to fight cold during winters.
- Calorie intake: Some dogs require more calories and some very less to fight the cold. The calorie intake depends on how active your dog is. Dogs who are very less active need very light and nutritious food. Bulky dogs, however, need more calories and high amount of fiber-rich food. Know your dog and then plan their diet. Maintaining a healthy weight during winter will help them have good immunity against infections.
- How active is your dog? It’s so obvious that pets are less active during cold weather but some pets love to play in the snow! If your pet is a snow lover, then leave your pet outdoors for some time during afternoons (because pets need good bright sunshine). If your pet loves to stay indoors, be creative in making the dog active. Include tricky/funny games which keep them engaged and sharp. Especially the puppies and the senior dogs need more attention.
- Watch the joints: Especially if you have a senior dog or she/he has arthritis. Include food supplements in their daily diet and make sure they get minimum exercise to get rid of stiff joints. Glucosamine and chondroitin are very good for joints health and so are the omega fatty acids. Choose the foods that are rich in these or include supplements while you give treats to the pet.
- Importance of Fur: The best and natural way to keep dogs warm is by maintaining the thick fur. This is the natural way to keep them warm. If your pet has a thick coat of fur keep it and don’t trim it. Yet, grooming during winter is important. Keep the hair healthy and thick. This can be done by including supplements in the food. Try any 'healthy dog fur supplements' or 'biscuits' available in the market. Good and nutritious food will maintain a healthy fur.
- How hydrated is your pet? Dogs tend to drink very less water during winter but they need water to stay hydrated. Drinking less water can cause dehydration during winter and the skin becomes very dry. The dry skin makes paws dry. Place some lukewarm water near the pet so they can gulp it every few minutes.
- Deal with depression: Dogs also get a bit depressed when season changes. They will be very lethargic, less active and show no interest in their routine daily activities. This is a sign of depression. You must see a veterinarian if your dog is behaving weird. Depression can make your pet lose weight.
Each dog is different! A dog needs change according to the seasons. Snow time is the best time to play but some dogs have a hard time. Be creative in playing with your pets indoors. There are some breeds which tolerate cooler temperatures and if your pet is one among them, you don't have to worry.
Try these and let us know your thoughts - Love to hear back from fellow pet lovers!