Working Dog Winter Care

Working dogs are an essential part of the team and need a bit of extra care over the winter to keep them in tip top shape.

Working dogs benefit hugely from being fed a good quality working dog food to maximise health and maintain a good body condition. The Vet Centre stocks Black Hawk Working Dog, which is specifically formulated for New Zealand conditions and contains the optimal amounts of protein, fat, essential vitamins and minerals. It also includes joint supplements and oils to allow for premium health and performance.

Keeping working dogs warm overnight is something that is often overlooked. Working dogs burn energy to keep warm once temperatures in their kennels drop below 20˚C. Dogs that get cold overnight are harder to keep condition on, need more food and can be stiff and slower in the mornings often needing more time to warm up.

Ideally kennels should be made from wood or have insulation. Having a warm, dry and draft free kennel reduces the amount of energy used to keep warm, allowing this energy to be used for other purposes such as maintaining body condition. Bedding can also be provided to improve warmth and give dogs a softer resting place overnight. Dog coats are another option which can be used to improve warmth overnight. They are also a good option for those dogs that don’t tolerate bedding in their kennels.

Regular worm, flea and tick treatments are another important thing to continue to give throughout the year as even in winter we can still see parasites in Northland.