Things change slightly when the temperature drops outside during winter. Here are our top tips for keeping your dog safe in the colder months:-
- Get them a coat
Smaller dogs, short-haired breeds, senior dogs and dogs with medical conditions, may need a coat or sweater to help them stay warm in winter. Even larger dogs with thicker coats can benefit from an added layer, such as a dog vest, especially in very chilly or windy air. A high visibility coat is ideal during dark winter mornings, evenings and foggy weather to ensure your dog can be seen when out on walks.
- Take shorter walks
During the winter, you should shorten your dog’s walks to reduce their exposure to the cold. If possible, rather take them for more shorter walks so they can get enough exercise, without risking prolonged exposure to the cold. If your dog begins picking up their paws, licking their paws, whining, or shivering, you should take them home. These are all signs of your dog being too cold. If your dog is less active during the winter months, don’t forget to cut back a bit on what you feed them.
- Wipe after walkies
Make sure you wipe your dog’s legs, feet and tummy after a walk, as grit from the roads and dampness from rain or snow can irritate their skin. If they are showing any signs of discomfort after possible exposure to rock salt, use a mild, pet-safe shampoo and warm water to wash the affected areas, and dry their fur completely after washing.
- Avoid antifreeze
Antifreeze is highly poisonous but tasty to dogs. Make sure you always keep antifreeze and other chemicals well out of reach and be sure to quickly mop up any spills.
- Safety first
Your own safety is important too. Make sure that you are dressed appropriately for the weather with a suitable coat and shoes. And make sure you're as visible as your dog is.
- Keep away from hazards
Stay away from frozen ponds or lakes and keep your dog on a lead near frozen water and if it’s snowing. If they do fall in, don’t be tempted to go after them. Encourage them to swim back to you and call emergency services if needed.
- Regularly check your dog's leads, collars and harnesses
Wet weather can cause metal clips to rust so make sure these are functioning safely. It can be trickier to do up lead clips and carabiners and attach them to collars and harnesses when it's cold, so do this indoors if you can.
- Consider Doggy Day Care with heated indoor areas
Depending on your day, you might be too busy to give your dog the exercise they need. It can be tempting to relax when you come home after a long day’s work and shut the front door on the freezing temperatures outside. Rags & Bert’s is a great option to keep your dog exercised, happy and warm in our heated indoor area with plenty of doggy pals for company.