With rain showers almost constant here in central NY, it is important to think about your dog’s care.
If your dog spends all or part of his time outdoors, he needs a dry shelter. Your doghouse should be checked for any leaks in the roof and any places where water can run onto the floor. Depending on the wind, rain could be blow into the shelter. If so, you need to adjust the location or create a door flap to keep rain out.
The bedding inside the doghouse should be checked at least weekly. Soggy, wet bedding will mildew and be uncomfortable for your dog. Skin that is constantly wet can develop sores. Inexpensive sources of bedding include pine shavings, straw and comforters and blankets picked up at garage sales. Straw and shavings should be cleaned out weekly during wet weather. Fabric bedding may need to be washed or changed daily.
Outside dogs will need a clean dry place for their food and water dishes as well. Kibble that gets wet will go rancid very quickly.
While 50 degrees may seem springlike, most dogs who are wet and out in the wind will be cold at those temperatures. Consider moving a doghouse into a shed or the garage for added protection.
A house dog will need some extra attention during wet weather as well. Trimming the excess hair on feet minimizes the formation of mats between the pads. This will also reduce the amount of mud brought into the house.
Shorthair dogs may need a coat when going outside in cold rain. Some dogs even like wearing booties! Be sure the coat dries in between wearings. Wet and muddy dog clothing will need frequent washings.
Special towels that soak up water, like the microfiber towels available at Pet Supplies Plus on Commercial Drive, can make it easier to dry your dog every time he comes in. Merry Microfiber also carries pet towels you can order directly. You can also purchase used towels at garage sales. Old beach towels are great for wrapping up a wet dog!
Microfiber mitts are another handy product. These can be purchased in a number of places of you can make your own. Most of these mitts come with a small loop to hang over your doorknob. The mitt is then handy whenever your dog comes in with muddy and wet feet. You can quickly wipe them off to help keep the house clean.
Since this is shedding season as well in upstate NY, you need to pay extra attention to your dog’s coat. Dogs with long hair are prone to developing “hotspots” if their coats aren’t thoroughly dried. These are areas of moist eczema that often require veterinary attention. Plan on at least a quick brushing daily with a thorough grooming weekly.
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