The population of stray dogs is immense in any part of the world. Giving proper shelter for the strays during the harsh cold months is a concern for many of us. With severe cold weather approaching, it is time for you to help them as much as possible.
Strays find it difficult to get enough food and water as winter approaches. Hunger takes a toll on their health. Hence, winter affects their lives, and they easily fall victim to the increasing cold.
It is significant to improve the dogs’ immunity so they can be strong internally. As a human being, you can do a lot to help these furry babies survive the harsh weather conditions. It’s time to do your part. Feed them well. Add proteins like milk and eggs to their food.
As humanity would demand, helping these voiceless creatures survive the harsh winters with comfort and food is a noble thing.
Here are some of the simple ways by which you can help stray dogs during the winter-
1. Build a temporary shelter
Temporary shelters prove beneficial in many ways. It could be your shoe box, cardboard box with straws, plastic lids, or any discarded bed sheets or clothes where you can make a temporary shelter for the stray dogs near your house on the streets or in nearby parks.
Protect them with discarded warm clothes and help them survive the cold weather. You can create a shed in the park or society to help the strays to spend the cold
2. Provide food and water
Feed the animals with fresh food and water. A well-fed dog is better prepared to fight off any illness and infection. Strays spend a lot of time searching for food and water.
Having those available will not make them roam here and there in the cold weather and conserve their energy. Something as simple as leaving food outside in the street can help these strays.
3. Cover them with old jackets and clothes
Windchills increase the risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Due to the extreme temperature and cold conditions, dogs with short hair feel uncomfortable. You can always use your old jackets and coats to cover the dogs in your vicinity.
By doing so, you are providing them comfort. Many dogs are uncomfortable wearing clothes, so you can cover them with an old quilt, comforter, or gunny bags at night if you have built a temporary shelter for the strays.
4. Inform the local NGO
If you find too many strays near your locality, inform the nearby local rescue organization, which can take proper measures and helps these strays with safe food and secured shelter. These voiceless friends deserve some help, especially during the chilly winter season.
You may also donate to these verified NGOs working hard for animal welfare. The donation could be in the form of cash, warm blankets, medicines, and food. Feel how difficult it is to survive on the streets without food and shelter.
5. Clean their paws
Stray dogs often get an infection in their paws. During harsh winters, some of them suffer from swelling in their paws. You may treat them with salt and Betadine and heal the wounds. Animal lovers even wash and dry their paws to get rid of salts, de-icing chemicals, and dirt after a night of heavy rain.
6. Put carpets or blankets on the floor
If you notice a specific place where the strays gather or sleep together, put a carpet or a blanket on the floor. While the dogs sit or sleep on the floor, the blanket gives them warmth and great comfort.
One single blanket can become a warm cozy bed for at least two to three dogs on the street. This warm bedding and mats are sure to keep them warm during the extreme cold temperature.
7. Make someplace inside your house premise
A dust-free and dry shelter are what the dogs need at this time of the year. All they need is someplace to move comfortably and hold their body temperature. If you stay in a separate unit, you may provide the strays with space to take shelter at night.
However, if you live in an apartment or housing society, take permission from the concerned authorities to provide necessary shelter to the stray dogs living inside the premises.
Finding food becomes difficult for them. Hence, stray dogs are more dependent on society to provide food. Make sure the dogs get fed daily. All you need is to arrange warm milk, meat, fish, soup, boiled eggs, and clean water.
8. Treat the injured and sick dogs
Don’t ignore a sick or injured stray dog during the winter. Give them a helping hand. Provide essential elements for protection. You can take them to a veterinarian or call a local rescue center to help these dogs.
However, if the injury is not severe, you may treat them by applying betadine on the affected areas to prevent skin infections that are common in winter.
You are highly mistaken if you think street dogs can’t be trained. They are adaptable and make excellent pets. The best way to help these strays is to give them a permanent home. They will surely fill your life with happiness and joy, as any pet dog does.
10. The small initiative makes a big difference
Small little steps can make a big difference. No single individual can save all the stray dogs of the world. However, if you do your part with compassion, you may help many stray animals get through the harsh days of the winter months.
As winter is coming, you must start planning beforehand. Your homeless furry buddies need your care and attention at this time of the year. All it takes is one thought and lots of compassion! Remember, anything you do, even a small gesture, can help these strays stay protected during winter.