Whether your dog loves the winter or would rather be cuddled up on the sofa under a blanket, you should be prepared to protect them when they venture out into the cold.
Many dog owners think that because their pets have a coat of fur, they can tolerate the cold better than humans. This isn’t necessarily the case. Like us, dogs are used to the warmth of indoor shelter and cold weather can be as hard on them as it is on humans. Whatever your view is on winter, one thing remains certain; it is a time when our beloved pets need a little extra care.
Here are my top 10 tips to keeping your dog safe throughout the winter months.
Wrap Up on Walks. Dogs need regular walks regardless of the weather. When out on winter walks it is important to make sure your four-legged friends are wrapped up warm. Put a dog coat on them when you go out, especially if you have a fine-coated dog. I use the Dog Gone Smart Aspen Parka Jackets for my dogs, you can pick them up from VioVet.
Check for Snow Between Their Toes. After your dogs have been outside, check their paws and dry them thoroughly. This is especially important with long-haired dogs as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls which can be very painful.
Check for Salt & Grit Between Their Toes. As well as snow, salt and grit from the roads can get lodged between dogs toes. Always clean their paws at the end of your walk.
Keep Them Warm & Dry. Dry off wet and muddy dogs walkers and make sure they have a cosy bed to return to which is away from any cold draughts.
Keep Them Active Indoors. If your dog is reluctant to venture out into the cold, do not force them out. Make sure you provide them with lots of toys for them to play and keep them occupied while indoors.
Adjust Their Food If Necessary. If your dog is less active in the winter months, make sure you adjust the amount of food you give them accordingly to avoid weight gain.
Make Sure They Have Good Recall. The cold weather normally brings reduced visibility in foggy or snowy conditions. If you are letting your dog off the lead, make sure you dog has good recall to avoid them getting lost and make sure their microchip details are up to date with your correct contact information.
Make Them Visible. As nights draw in earlier and the sun rises later, try attaching a small light to your dog’s collar so they can be seen when out on walks in reduced visibility.
Never Leave Your Dog in The Car Unattended. Just as cars can become fatally hot in summer months, temperatures can drop rapidly in cold weather. Always take your dog with you rather than leaving them in the car for any length of time.
Stay Away From Frozen Lakes & Rivers. Keep your dog away from frozen water as it is impossible to tell how secure the surface is. Keep them on a lead if you think they’ll be tempted to jump in.
Winter weather brings a wide variety of concerns to responsible dog owners. Bitter cold, numbing wetness or biting winds can cause discomfort for your dog. Paying special attention to your dogs well-being during the winter will insure that you both enjoy the season.
Keep these winter care tips in mind and enjoy what winter has to offer. And don’t forget that winter cuddles with your fur friend are a great way for everybody to keep warm.
Thanks for reading.