Caring For Your Dog in Winter

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Caring For Your Dog In Winter – Seven Ways to Keep Your Dog Safe and Warm

The weather forecasters are back to their annual forecast and 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.)

1. One of the most important things 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 might sound obvious but it’s amazing 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 really great coats.)

2. Always dry them fully after a walk in the cold and wipe their paws and stomachs carefully after a walk 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.

3. Clip the hair between the pads on the paws to ensure that snow cannot become matted there.

4. 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 that 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.

5.  Never let your dog off the lead in a snowstorm, and be very careful when there is snow and ice on the ground.  Scent is not as easy to pick up in very cold conditions and the landscape is completely different so your dog could  very easily become disorientated and lose you.  For this reason, make sure also 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.

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

7. If it does snow, think about digging out a little area for the dog to go and relieve him/herself.  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 a great 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 as well as 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!!