The temperature is dipping and as we wrote our last article on winter essentials for your dog, we felt a need to write a short post for those individuals who look after stray dogs and cats outside their homes, offices or any other place. We often do get lots of queries through our NGO - Red Paws Rescue over how anyone can try and contribute and help the indies on the road.
If you are already taking care of dogs on the road then you can help them by keeping out a dog bed so they can get a warm spot to sleep on, in case you cannot afford a bed you can give the strays some gunny bags/jute bags to sleep on during winter, they are inexpensive (about Rs 20 - Rs 30) and can help keep them warm in the bitter cold. Blankets are also another good option if you can keep it in a regular spot where they sit, often we pick a grey/black blanket and cover it up with a few leaves so people don't try to steal it off the road.
What you also see allot of these days is the strays with winter jackets on them, if you see the dogs everyday and are taking care of them on a daily basis then it is a good idea to make them wear a jacket. What often happens is that people put on the jacket with good intention of keeping the dogs warm but we have had lots of cases of the jacket string cutting into the dogs stomach or neck as often the is tied so tight that it cuts into their flesh and also reduced their mobility and often it ends up getting caught up in gates, barbed wires or any other elements. It is also important to take it off on a regular basis or else the dog will get super dry skin, fleas and other skin conditions. So do use a jacket or coat if your taking care of the dogs on a regular basis and can keep an eye out on them to see what mischief they are up to everyday!
A good diet will also go a long way in keeping them warm internally, you can feed them some chicken broth, soup, eggs, boiled fish with some good fats such as fish oil, coconut oil or krill oil. Do avoid feeding rice during winters as it is cooling in nature. If your feeding the strays kibble, then do try and add some mashed boiled eggs to the food so they can become stronger internally and increase their immunity.
If you can make a little makeshift shelter for the community dogs that would be super as they all often huddle up in little balls and sleep during winter. In case you need to buy beds or coats for your strays do drop by our store in Hauz Khas Village - Red Paws where we are giving 25% off all beds and coats that people purchase for their stray dogs!