Some breeds of dog with a thick double coat are built for the winter and fare well when the temperature drops but there are other dogs who do not. There are many other risky factors to keep in mind when walking your dog in the winter. These are our top tips for keeping your dog safe.
Use a reflective lead/ collar/ harness or jacket on your dog while walking. These are essential items for the long dark nights and make sure cars can see your dog when you walk by the roadside. They will also help you spot your dog when off lead across fields or the park.Water
Always make sure your dog has enough fresh water to drink. This should prevent them trying to drink from puddles which are likely to contain poisonous substances like antifreeze, oil or gritting salt.
Dogs can damage their ligaments and muscles if they slip so keep an eye out for icy patches. Puppies and elderly dogs are the most prone to injuries so keep their walks short on icy mornings if they need to be walked or consider waiting until the ice has thawed.
If you are walking near bodies of water check that they have not frozen over and keep your dog on the lead. They can easily fall through ice but can rarely make it out without help.
Your dog should have a good thick bed. It will insulate them from the cold floor and cushion their joints.
When walking your dog watch out for whining, an anxious appearance, slowing of pace or shivering. These are indicators that it is time to get back indoors and wam up.
Leave your dog’s towel on the radiator to dry them off and warm them up when you get home. If it is cold and your dog has become muddy on their walk we recommend either:
washing them in the bath with warm water, towel dry and blow dry the excess water
leave the mud to dry and then give them a good rub down.
Hosing your dog with cold water and leaving them with wet fur for hours after their walk will leave your dog very cold and miserable.
If you have been pavement walking check your dogs pads when you get home. Gritting salt can become lodged between the pads and fur and irritate or crack them. Give them a quick rise to be safe to make sure there isn’t salt lurking between the digits.
Enjoy your winter walks with your dogs, its a beautiful time of year and most dogs aren’t phased by the cold weather. If you struggle to take your dog out in the winter and would like some help let us know by calling the office on 01603 927272.