Preparing your house and your dog for winters in Ottawa, Canada is essential to ensure the well-being of your furry friend and maintain a comfortable living environment. Here are some tips to help you get ready for the winter season:
For Your Dog:
Winter Coat and Grooming:
- If your dog has a short coat, consider getting them a winter jacket to provide extra warmth during walks.
- Regular grooming is still important in winter. Trimming excess fur can prevent ice and snow from accumulating on their paws and belly.
Protective Paw Care:
- Cold weather can be tough on your dog’s paws. Consider using pet-friendly booties to protect their feet from ice, salt, and chemical deicers.
- Wipe their paws and belly when coming indoors to remove any salt or chemicals that may irritate their skin.
Limit Outdoor Time:
- Be mindful of the time your dog spends outdoors, especially during extreme cold snaps. Dogs can get frostbite, just like humans.
Provide Adequate Shelter:
- If your dog spends time outside, ensure they have a well-insulated shelter that protects them from wind and moisture.
Hydration and Nutrition:
- Dogs may need more calories in the winter to generate extra body heat. Ensure they have access to fresh water at all times.
- Create a cozy space indoors with warm bedding. Dogs, especially seniors or those with short coats, might appreciate a warm blanket or bed.
- Keep up with regular exercise to help your dog stay healthy and burn off excess energy. Consider indoor activities on extremely cold days.
For Your House:
Heating System Check:
- Make sure your heating system is in good working condition. Consider getting it serviced before winter to avoid breakdowns.
- Seal any drafts around windows and doors to keep your home warm. This not only helps your dog but also saves on energy costs.
- Use pet-friendly deicers on walkways to protect your dog’s paws. Regular salt can be harmful if ingested or if it irritates their paws.
Warm Sleeping Area:
- Ensure your dog’s bed or crate is placed away from drafts and is not on a cold floor. Provide additional blankets for warmth.
- Prepare an emergency kit in case of power outages. This should include extra pet food, medications, blankets, and a source of heat.
Monitor Indoor Humidity:
- Cold air tends to be dry, which can affect your dog’s skin and coat. Consider using a humidifier to maintain indoor humidity at a comfortable level.
Check for Hazards:
- Winter often brings holiday decorations. Make sure these decorations, like tinsel and ornaments, are out of your dog’s reach.
By taking these steps, you’ll ensure that both your dog and your home are well-prepared for the winter months in Ottawa. Regular monitoring and adjustments based on your dog’s needs will contribute to a happy and healthy winter season for your furry friend.