Warmer seasons can pose a hazard to pets, but cold weather presents challenges, too. But with a little preparation, you can help protect your pet well through fall and winter without breaking the bank. Here are four frugal steps to preserving your dog’s health throughout the colder months.
1. Choose the Right Gear
From a properly fitted collar to toys that help your pup relax and let loose, choosing the right gear is vital for an enjoyable cool season. Though summertime is peak for water fun and evenings spent outdoors, the cooler months offer opportunities to enjoy the sunshine and brisk walks, too.
Keep in mind that many smaller breeds – such as chihuahuas, Boston terriers, pugs, and Dachshunds – are more sensitive to cold than most canines. You might want to invest in a comfy winter coat for your chilly pup to make outdoor excursions more tolerable in every season.
2. Make a Pet-Friendly Space
If your dog experiences stress or anxiety, there are inexpensive solutions to calm them. For example, the winter months often involve get-togethers with family and friends. But it’s simple to set aside a quiet area for your dog to retreat to if the event gets to be too much.
Preventive Vet recommends setting aside a safe space for your dog or creating multiple areas around your home. The safe space can even be your pup’s feeding spot, which can help them relax even more. Ensure that the area is stress-free and quiet, ideally far away from a window or door.
You might find you have all the items you need to create a dog-friendly relaxation spot in a corner of your house. If your dog is still anxious during storms, large gatherings, or unpredictable days, try at-home relaxation techniques. Doggie massage or playing some calming music may help your canine eliminate stress and relax.
As for the rest of your home, make sure to remove any hazards that may be dangerous for your pet. It’s also a good idea to get your chimney swept to improve the air quality in your home which can benefit both your pet and your family. Search for “chimney cleaners near me” and read reviews and find ratings on professionals in your area. Chimney sweeping typically costs around $225, but expect to pay more if you’re also getting an inspection.
3. Start Preventative Regimens
Older dogs, especially, tend to experience more health problems in the colder months. By taking preventative steps, you can help reduce or eliminate your pup’s discomfort rather than trying to treat pain later.
For example, CBD oil may ease your dog’s arthritis pain – and it can also be more affordable than prescription medications. When looking for the best CBD oil for your pooch, read the label for the product strength and ingredients.
Keeping your dog moving can also alleviate arthritis symptoms. Though it’s harder to head outside in the colder months, make it a priority to get your pup moving around each day. The American Kennel Club recommends exercising senior dogs, especially, on softer surfaces like grass and sand whenever possible.
4. Change Your Routine (for Free)
Just like getting your dog moving can help ease physical pain, other changes in routine can benefit their overall health. Although exercise can be tougher to accomplish in fall and beyond, adjusting your routine for more in-home entertainment is simple.
Playing games indoors is a frugal way to change up your pup’s routine – without the need for expensive classes or toys. You can hide treats for your canine to sniff out, toss around their favorite toy, or even encourage your pooch to hop on a human treadmill for some exercise.
If your pup could use some redirection for not-so-good behavior, consider checking out online dog training courses. You can find free online classes to help train dogs at every stage – from a new puppy to a newly adopted senior canine.
Easing into the cooler months with slight changes to your routine may be the best way to prep your pup for winter. Dealing with your dog’s pain or discomfort is tough. But with a few frugal tweaks, you can help preserve their health through every season.