The pug breed is brachycephalic, which makes it more sensitive to lower temperatures, and allows it to catch a cold easily. These dogs have breathing difficulties, and things can go from bad to worse during the winter. Unless you keep your dog safe from the cold and provide treatment as necessary, the winter season could prove to be fatal to its health.
Hence, you must take proper measures to keep your pug safe during the winter. And you can start doing so by checking out the following guidelines on winter care for your pug.
Keeping the Temperature in Check
Anything between 30-45 degrees Fahrenheit means that there is a good chance that your pug might develop a cold. As the temperature starts dropping and reaches 25 degrees, you should be fully prepared to tackle a cold. Anything below 20 means you must avoid going outside with your pug at all costs.
It is crucial to keep the temperature in check. Anything above the recommended temperature, and you should start taking all sorts of precautions. Platforms like Tomorrow’s weather app can keep you updated on the latest weather developments. Use the app to stay informed regarding the changes in temperatures, and other harsh weather conditions.
Get a Jacket and Gloves for Your Pug
Since it cannot protect itself from the cold, you should make your pug wear a jacket as added protection. Winter jackets will keep the cold at bay and your dog warm. You should also get some socks or dog shoes for the winter. The dog will be walking a lot around the house, and unless the floor is carpeted, your pug will come in direct contact with the cold and often wet floor.
Avoid Feeding them Cold Water
Feed your dog only warm or lukewarm water during winter. Coldwater is likely to give it a sore throat. It might also lower its body temperature if fed continuously. The idea is to give your pug slightly warm water so that it can stay cool internally.
Do Not Go Out for Long Walks
Cold weather is very unpleasant for pugs, so much so that even going on walks becomes difficult for them. Unless you absolutely must go out with it, try not to do so. Short 5 minute walks are fine but avoid the longer ones.
Instead of going out to play, you can keep it entertained indoors with a laser pointer and other dog toys. You could even play fetch inside the house if the space is big and open.
Since you are already going out less often for walks, your pug is likely to gain a bit of weight. And unless you want it to get fat, you might want to pay close attention to its diet.
Apart from the amount of food you are giving it, you should also bring balance to the diet. It can continue on its regular feed at a lower quantity, or you could keep the quantity the same and switch to a food with lower fat content. Ideally, the former is the better option of the two, as your dog might not appreciate the change in the food type.
Check for Symptoms of Cold
When a pug catches a cold, it will have a runny nose with or without nasal discharge. Besides the nose, the pug’s eyes might get watery too. Sneezing is a common sign of cold, along with a wet cough or wheezing. You should also be on the lookout for shivering, warm ears, and breathing difficulties. The pug will also lose its appetite and will show lethargy.
Knowing When to Call the Vet
After you have tried various home remedies to treat your dog’s cold, but still failed, you should consider calling a vet. Call them immediately if you notice that your pug is developing a cold, or is yet to recover from it despite your home treatment.
Immediate action is also required if the pug stops taking its fluids, or shows signs that it is in constant pain. Keep your ears open to hear whether or not your pug’s chest is making any rattling noise from the cough or cold.
In some cases, you might not know how to treat your dog for a cold at home. For these situations, it is best to visit the veterinarian directly without trying to treat the cold on your own.
Hopefully, your pug will be fine and comfortable in winter if you can maintain these key details. It might feel a bit frustrating to ensure all these at first. However, you will get used to it once you have passed a couple of winters with your pug.