With widespread frost and cold weather due over the next couple of weeks here are our top tips to keeping your dog safe and comfortable in the cold weather.
Wrap up warm on walks!
Although your dog has a fur coat, it doesn’t mean they don’t get cold in the winter months, especially short coated breeds such as Chihuahuas and French Bulldogs. There are some great jumpers and dog coats available to keep your pup nice and cosy while out on cold walks.
If your dog isn’t use to wearing a jumper or coat, make sure you introduce it slowly using lots of tasty treats (cheese or hot dog pieces work particularly well). Some dogs find it an overwhelming experience to begin with so rewarding them with lots of treats will help build a positive association.
Protect your dog’s paws
There are lots of things that can irritate your dogs paws while out walking especially in the colder months. Always check your dogs paws after walks, giving them a wash and dry if they have walked on any snow, or ice. Watch out for salt/grit on the pavements as this can also cause problems with your dogs paws.
If you want to help prevent paw problems you could think about using specially made dog boots. PAWZ Boots are little re-usable rubber boots that provide year round protection, including snow, grit, ice as well as hot pavements in the summer.
Another tip is to use a paw balm after washing and drying your dogs paws, which moisturise and provide soothing relief and protection. These are two of our favourite paw balm picks:
If you have a long-hair breed, you might want to trim the hair around their paws to prevent snow and ice-balls from forming between their toes.
Watch out for Anti-Freeze!
Antifreeze is highly poisonous to dogs and fatal if ingested, however to them it is sweet and tasty. Keep any anti-freeze that you have around the house out of reach of your dog. If you do think your dog has ingested any take them straight to the vets.
Keep them active
Some dogs may be reluctant to head out for walks in the cold. If this is the case, there are plenty of indoor activities to help keep them active and mentally stimulated. Banish boredom by setting up setting up some easy homemade games for them, check out our Top 5 DIY Dog Games here.
If they are happy to head out why not shorten the walk slightly if very cold and incorporate some training sessions while out walking to mentally tire them out.
If your dog is less active in the colder months then do not forgot to adjust their food to suit. They may not need quite as much if less active.
Be Safe, Be Seen!
With the darker days, and less visibility in the fog & frost make sure you and your dog can be seen easily with hi-vis coats, leads, collars etc.
A key one is to stay away from frozen lakes and ponds or keep your dogs on a lead near them as sometimes they are just too tempting.
Do not leave your dog outside
This may sounds obvious but you must remember that as in the Summer you should not leave your dog in the car in the Winter months either. As humans, dogs can also suffer from frostbite and hypothermia so be aware want to look at for.
Read the Pet Health Network articles for more info, including what to look out for and how to treat it:
Keep them warm while in the house
If your house tends to get cold while you are out, consider leaving the heating on low or set it on a timer so your dog stays warm.
You may also want to think about providing extra bedding at night or try the thermal self-heating blankets and mats from Scruffs. Designed to reflect your dog’s own body heat therefore no need for electricity.
Collar & ID Tag
Always make sure your dog is wearing their collar and ID tag and are micro chipped. Make sure you keep your details on the microchip website up to date, if you change address or phone number. Contact your microchip provided to find out how to update your details. It is normally very straightforward either online or over the phone.