Here in the Bluegrass we’ve been experiencing some unseasonably warm temperatures which have made for some gorgeous fall weather. Here at Bluegrass Frenchies we’ve been taking advantage of these beautiful days and soaking up as much sunshine as we can. Our pups are making the most of it as well with plenty of long walks and lots of playing and exploring the falling leaves and all the new smells of the new season. With November upon us, we know weather like this won’t last long and before we know it chilly days and nights will soon be here. For those of you farther north you may already may be experiencing some cooler and more “November appropriate” weather. Since French Bulldogs tend to have a lower tolerance for cold weather we will be discussing 5 winter tips to keep your pup safe, comfortable and healthy during the upcoming cooler months.
During the winter, due to shorter days, you’ll often find that you will be walking your dog in the dark, whether it be early in the morning or in the early evening. A reflective collar and leash be used at all times. You can also find many winter coats and jackets for both you and your dog, that have reflective strips installed so that you both remain visible to motorists.
Since the French Bulldogs coat is short and since do not have a thick undercoat they tend to be more sensitive to the cold. It is definitely a great idea to invest in a coat for your Frenchie to wear while he/she is outside. The coat should fit snuggly, but should not be restrictive or too loose. Fit is extremely important, as the coats benefits can be completely negated by an ill-fitting coat.
Protect their feet:
Not only do you want to keep puppies feet warm on long walks but there are other reasons you’ll want to keep your pups feet protected. As the sidewalks are often salted this time of year and can have serious implications to the health of the feet/pads, protective foot wear is also highly recommended. This could be slip on boots, if tolerated by your Frenchie, or many find a product called Invisible Boots to work well. This product is applied to the pads of the feet and is designed to protect the feet while allowing the pads/feet to breathe. If using boots, once again make sure they fit properly, neither too tight, or too loose. If your pup refuses to tolerate either of these options simply use a warm, wet washcloth to thoroughly wipe down the pads of their feet upon returning from your walk, being sure to remove all traces of salt and other debris.
Antifreeze which is typically used in vehicles during the winter month is extremely toxic and often fatal to both dogs and cats. Antifreeze has a sweet taste that makes it especially tempting for your pet. Consider using a pet-friendly antifreeze containing propylene glycol instead. Make sure antifreeze is always out of reach and keep an eye on your vehicles for any signs of leakage.
Winter Weight Gain:
It is extremely important to your Frenchies health to maintain a healthy weight year round. Like us, dogs often gain weight in the winter as a result of less outdoor activity and possibly a few extra holiday treats. This often results in the dog becoming overweight by spring time. A great way to prevent winter weight gain is to try feeding your Frenchie a little bit less during winter while they are less active, and then increasing their intake as the weather gets warmer and their physical activity increases.This method will usually result the dog staying the same weight through the year, thus avoiding any health risks associated with weight fluctuations.
So even though you may not be ready for the cooler winter temperatures (is anybody ever?), with these tips, your Frenchie will be! Wishing everyone a great November and a happy, safe and beautiful season!