Caring For Your Dog in Winter

 

How to care for dogs in winter – Seven Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe and Warm.

The weather forecasters are back to their annual forecast, scaring us that we are in for the coldest winter in a hundred years! (although as I write this, it is just like a bad summers day.)

Never Clip or shave your dog in winter.

One of the most important things is to make sure you never shave or clip your dog down to the skin in winter.  Their fur acts as a coat for them.  It’s incredible how many people don’t think about it or clip them short because it’s easier to keep dry and clean.  And if you do have a short-haired dog, think about getting them a coat. (Amazon.com has some great coats.)

Make sure they are dried after a walk.

Always dry them thoroughly after a walk and wipe their paws and stomachs carefully in the ice or snow.  Salt and antifreeze can be ingested as they lick their paws clean, both of which can be toxic to dogs.  Encrusted snow can also make the paws bleed, so keep a careful eye on them.

Winter Paw Care

Clip the hair between the pads on the paws to ensure that snow cannot become matted there. Check out our article on winter paw care

Cold cars can kill

So many people take precautions to make sure dogs and animals are not left in the car when it is hot but do remember the cold can be just as dangerous.  In the same way, the car turns into an oven. It can quickly turn into a fridge, holding in the cold so your dog could freeze to death. Try not to leave them for more than a few minutes.

Keep dogs on lead in snow.

Never let your dog off the lead in a snowstorm, and be very careful when there is snow and ice on the ground.  The scent is not as easy to pick up in icy conditions, and the landscape is entirely different, so your dog could quickly become disorientated and lose you.  For this reason, make sure that your dogs are wearing up to date tags with your name and mobile number on them and that your microchip details are up to date with PetLog.

Carry a first aid kit and winter survival kit in your car

Keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle. Include blankets, towels, water, bowl, first aid kit, a flask of hot drink for yourself and a sign that the dog is in the car.

Make a snow-free area for the dog in the garden.

If it does snow, think about digging out a little area for the dog to go and relieve themselves.  It saves them getting freezing wet and cold in the process (and saves you a lot of drying time when they come back in!)

I have two dogs and a third one that stays with me in the mornings. They all love the snow, and for me, I think it is an excellent time of year with long walks over frosty fields. Enjoy the winter with your dogs – it can be a fabulous time!

Final top tip!! ESPECIALLY If you have kids and dogs, make sure the garden is kept free of poop, especially if snow is forecast!!  Nothing worse than rolling up a snowman and finding a little ‘surprise’ in the middle!!

You may also be interested in our first aid kits for walks and home articles along with walks with your dog in wintery weather, dark mornings and Tips for winter dog care