“Dogs do speak, but only to those who know how to listen.”– Orhan Pamuk.
Just like humans, dogs also need to stay warm during the winter months. Unfortunately, there are several myths surrounding the dogs and their ability to stay warm during the season.
But the truth is that low temperatures affect the body of your puppy to a great extent. Different breeds have different reactions to the changing weather.
For instance, breeds like American Eskimo Dogs, Samoyeds, and Siberian Huskies love winters and get more active and playful during this season. On the contrary, breeds like Italian Greyhounds, Greyhounds, hairless breeds, etc., might suffer from conditions of arthritis, Cushing’s disease, and hypothyroidism.
Therefore, it is essential that you learn about the myths and help protect your beloved furry friend from harsh weather conditions.
Myth 1: Dog Fur Protects Them From Cold
The first and most common misconception about dogs is that their fur protects them from the cold. While it is true for some breeds such as Siberian husky or Samoyeds. It is because they have very thick fur coats as well as a history of surviving under harsh weather conditions. The same is not the case with other breeds.
In fact, not every breed with a thick fur coat can tolerate the cold easily. Instead, it can lead to hypothermia. Therefore, you need to get dog hoodies or jackets for your pet to keep them warm during the winter.
Make sure to select the one which is designed according to the breed of your pup. In case your puppy is prone to get sick, make sure to layer up. Moreover, you need not worry about jackets being uncomfortable to them. As you can easily get them on and off. So, your puppy will stay safe as well as comfortable in winter.
Tip: Make sure you also protect their paws using dog shoes and paw wax. Even if you are going for a short walk. It will protect them from frostbite and also help keep them warm.
Myth 2: They Can Eat Snow When Thirsty
Many dogs prefer to eat snow over drinking water when thirsty. However, it is not at all safe for them. The reason being is that snow generally covers animal waste, garbage, salt, and chemicals. If pooches consume any of these things, even by mistake, they can get severely sick.
Eating snow affects their core temperature; thus, making them even colder and leading to hypothermia.
Some people believe that fresh snow is good for their health, which is also not correct. Therefore, it would be best if you don’t let your puppies eat snow. Instead, give them water or ice to keep them hydrated.
Myth 3: They Are Safe From Ticks In Winters
Generally, many insects and pests die in the cold season. However, ticks and fleas can survive this harsh weather if they get warm shelter. And your house is one of the warmest places for them. That’s why the possibility of ticks and fleas seeking shelter in your home amplifies.
Keeping this in mind, you must do routine flea and tick inspections, especially if they spend more time near warm areas such as a fireplace. Excessive itching on dry skin is harmful to your pooches. So, if you notice any sign of ticks, remove it and take your pooches to the veterinarian immediately. Also, be consistent with the medication.
Myth 4: They Don’t Get Dehydrated In Winters
Many pet parents think that dogs tend to get dehydrated during hot weather more than cold weather. Well, it is not true! During the winter months, the humidity level is low; thus, the atmosphere is dry. So, they can quickly get dehydrated during this time.
Moreover, dogs tend to lose their body moisture due to breathing, particularly from panting- which can increase their dehydration.
Therefore, you need to ensure that they stay hydrated. For that, keep a bowl of water near them. And also, make sure they drink enough water before and after walks.
Note: Puppies tend to get more thirsty if they take some kind of medication. So, make sure they drink 1-2ml per kilogram of body weight per hour.
Myth 5: Dog Waste Gets Dissolved In Snow
It is bad and unhygienic to not clean up dog waste. However, many people still do it. Yes, it is gross! The reason behind such an act is that many believe that waste gets dissolved in snow.
Well, it DOES NOT!
On the contrary, dry and cold weather conditions slow down the biodegradation process. So, the waste will stay around till spring begins. It can lead to severe health concerns for both humans as well as pets.
To be more specific, the waste will attract bacteria and rodents. Thus the chances of transmitted disease increase in pets. Likewise, bacterias can affect human health as well. That’s why you should clean up after the mess and also warn the pet parents around you.
Myth 6: Dogs Can Easily Remove All The Snow From Their Fur
According to experts in canine psychology, the mind of a dog is similar to a two-year-old baby. They both love to play in changing environments. In simple terms, dogs like to play and interact with new things, such as snow.
No matter how many times they have seen it, they will enjoy it just like it’s the first time. However, when they come home after playing, you need to ensure that they stay warm and safe.
Although, most pups remove the dirt or snow on their own. Excessive licking, chewing, or gnawing can damage their dry skin. Therefore you should spend proper time removing the snow bits from the skin. It will keep your pup happy and healthy.
To Sum It All Up!
These are some of the myths related to dogs and winters that you must not believe in. Instead, it is your responsibility to protect your furry friend from challenging weather conditions. Provide them warm and clean space and some clothes. Also, take them to the veterinarian regularly to ensure that they stay healthy.