Britain is renowned for its unpredictable weather and whatever the weather, it is always best to plan ahead! Winter is a great time of the year, and with some tips and tricks we can make it as comfortable as possible for our pets and help you both cope with winter weather.
A lot of us wrap up to brave the cold, but few people realise that their pooch may need to wrap up too. Lean or short haired breeds like Greyhounds are prone to feeling the cold much more than others – their slim and slender frames can benefit from a cosy coat or jumper to keep their body heat contained, short legged breeds such as dachshunds are also likely to get cold much quicker. Young puppies and senior dogs are more likely to feel the cold so a suitable coat can keep them toasty warm.
While we humans prepare for the ice and snow, substances such as grit and salt are widely used on the paths and roads. While it makes our lives easier, it can get caught in fur and between paw pads, these substances can cause irritation to the skin and problems if ingested from licking etc. Mix warm water with a small amount of gentle pet shampoo or simply use warm water to rinse or wipe down legs, paws and bellies to remove any grit or ice. Also keep fur between their pads trimmed either by yourself or by a groomer, this prevents ice from sticking in-between paw pads, making it uncomfortable to walk. It is also best to keep nails trimmed to a reasonable length, as long claws can cause actually reduce grip on shiny/icy surfaces.
It’s always nice to get into a snug bed after a cold day or wrap up in a cosy blanket, dogs too need a comfy spot away from draughts; especially older dogs and puppies. You can also buy bedding designed to hold in the dog’s body heat, an extra snuggly blanket is always appreciated too!
As we head out into colder mornings, frost is a common sight. While anti-freeze is very useful for cars, it can have fatal consequences if lapped up. Keep any locked away and clear up spillages and avoid letting your dog drink from puddles when on a walk in case they are contaminated.
Dog walkers will agree that along with winter come beautiful views, getting wrapped up and strolling through the countryside on a crisp morning is a great way to wake up and enjoy some time with your dog. Off-lead walks should be monitored though as dogs can easily wander off, there is a real risk of falling into a frozen pond or lake and double trouble if you go in after them! Wherever possible, call for help and leave it to trained professionals.
Though it may be nice to take a seat and admire the frosty views, your dog easily feels the cold and may not appreciate it as much as you do! Try to keep walks short, especially for those dogs that feel the cold.
Be sure to pack any essentials and wear suitable clothing for the weather, your safey is just as important as your dog’s safety. Also have fun and make memories, take lots of photos of your winter walks and share them with us through social media or email – we love to stay in touch!
Check out our Into the Night blog post for tip on safety during night time walks!
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