Thursday, January 13, 2011

Keep your Cairn Warm in the Winter!

Written by Reggie and Gemma's adoptive mom

The holidays are over but we still have a long winter ahead of us. These next few months can sometimes be the coldest and the iciest. So what can you do to keep your Cairn as warm as possible? No... this will not be a blog about forcing your dog to wear booties (we've all seen how much dogs LOVE to wear those) or about expensive coats, but there are some things you can do and buy for your dog that will ensure that they stay warm, healthy and happy.

1. Go for walks and keep them short: Instead of letting your dog wander the yard for 20 minutes while you get ready for work, take them on a 10 minute walk instead. I know this requires a little extra time on your part but it will get your Cairn's blood pumping and will keep them outdoors for a much shorter period of time. You may also find that this helps you keep your own New Years resolution to be more active!

2. Keep bellies and paws ice-free and dry: If your Cairn is like ours, they are like little velcro pads for snow balls and ice. As tedious as it may seem, picking the ice out of your dogs feet can be one of the best ways to prevent painful cracking of the foot pads. Also try to get your dog's belly as dry as possible. I'm sure we all have spent time in wet clothes at some point and it wasn't very comfortable. The dryer, the better. For stubborn snowballs, try dipping your pup in some luke-warm water for a few minutes!

3. Re-adjust a winter diet: In the winter months, dogs naturally burn more calories to stay warm- especially if they spend a lot of time outside. You may need to add some extra food to compensate for this extra need for fuel. Be careful and don't add too much or you may be dealing with an overweight Cairn in the spring. Careful monitoring and lots of exercise will help keep your Cairn on-track for a healthy weight.

4. Keep your Cairn snuggly: Whether it means letting them on the couch to hang out with you or just increasing their bedding, it's important to keep your dog away from cold floors and drafty doors. Hang a blanket over their crate to keep heat in, get a thicker pad or just let the dogs into bed with you on cold nights and you'll have a very snuggly, very warm, best friend for life.

5. Winter Outerwear: While I'm not a huge believer in dogs needing clothing, it can't hurt to put them in a light-weight fleece (ie. Fido Fleece)* for prolonged winter activities. Be sure to take jackets off in the house so they don't roast!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

isn't this photo of a darling Border Terrier?