IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project has been invited into communities to help individuals provide for their dogs.It’s only November but winter has definitely arrived in northern Canada.  The thermometer is already on the minus side and snow is sticking on the ground. 

For people, this time of year means hats, mitts maybe even some snow pants. For dogs, you hope there is some northern breeding in there so they are equipped to deal with the harsh climate more naturally – thick underfur, long guard hairs and short ears. 

But all sorts of dogs have infiltrated the north and now call very cold places home. 

Short coated types such as Labradors, Rottweilers, hounds, Dobermans, and boxers are now mixed in and it’s these breeds and their crosses, not native to the north, who really benefit from extra attention. 

How people live with dogs around the world is different depending on where they live, how they live and their culture.

While many people believe strongly that their way of owning a dog is the right way, others would unequivocally say that their way is the only way. 

But remember, most people know their own culture and their own standard of living which are often quite different from the cultures and challenges of the communities in which IFAW works. 

I would hazard a guess that everyone can point out something that is lacking in the way someone else cares for their dog but the most important thing is that the dogs’ needs are met, through every season, no matter the age or breed mix. 

Dogs are domestic animals who depend on people for what they need. In the winter that translates into a warm place to get out of the cold, the wind and the snow or rain. For some people, that means letting their dog on their couch. For others it means a blanket on the front porch. For others, it’s a warm dog house set with the back to the wind and a door flap to keep the heat in.

And IFAW can help with that.

Most of us know that when the cold hits, we crave comfort food and we tend to eat more of it.  I have no idea what exactly a dog craves in the winter, but upping the calories is important for dogs who are expending more energy keeping warm than they would at other times of the year.  

Older dogs and pups are vulnerable at this time of year and there is no harm in feeding them as much as they want to eat. More food and making sure that water is available may seem like an easy ask, but often times people have never learned what it takes to care for a dog or simply don’t have the resources.

I know I don’t know everything about many topics, but I do know that when I learn something from someone who shares their information in a respectful way, I’m appreciative.

This year IFAW’s Northern Dogs Project has been invited into communities to help individuals provide for their dogs in a way that meets their dog’s winter needs. 

We look forward to assisting in multiple ways including providing puppy food for older dogs who need the extra protein, taking out puppies who have been born at this time of year (when the energy required to keep them warm and fed takes a huge toll on the mother — who our vet team will spay at the clinic in April), and building dog houses. 

Whether everyone agrees on how to own a dog, I think we can all agree that working with people who want to take better care of their dogs is a very worthy partnership. 

JH

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Article source: IFAW

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