Now that clocks have gone back, and the nights are drawing in it’s time to prepare yourself, and your pooch, for those chilly winter walks.
Hopefully the tips below should prove useful for taking care of your pet as the temperature cools!
- Buy your dog a coat – particularly if it is a puppy, old or short-haired dog – you wouldn’t go out without a coat in this weather so neither should your pooch!
- Similarly, treat your pet to some new extra cosy winter bedding to get them through the winter months in comfort.
- After walks, be sure to check your dog’s ears, paws and tail for ice crystals which can form in very cold weather and damage the skin and underlying tissue.
- If you have a long-haired dog also take care to check between their toes as snow impaction can lead to ice balls which can be very painful.
- Wipe your dog’s feet after walks as grit from the roads can irritate their feet.
- This can also help to prevent Alabama Rot which is more prevalent between the months of November and May.
- Make sure to dry your dog thoroughly after they have been on a walk, or had a bath, and make sure their bed is always warm and dry to keep them cosy.
- Invest in a high-vis jacket or collar if you intend on taking your pet out in the dark early mornings or evenings over the winter months.
- If possible, try not to walk your dog first thing in the morning or last thing at night when it is coldest.
- Also limit the length of your walks to prevent pets from getting too cold.
- Keep your dog on a lead in the snow – snowy or misty conditions can be disorientating, and it is much easier for your dog to become confused and get lost.
- Ensure your dog is wearing a collar and ID tag and make sure your contact details are up to date, that way if you pet does get lost you can make sure you get them back safe and sound.
- If your dog is reluctant to venture out in the cold weather keep them active indoors instead with their favourite toys.
- To avoid weight gain you may need to adjust your dog’s food intake – particularly if they are not so keen on long walks in the cold!
- Do not leave your dog the car for long periods of time as temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather.
- Do not allow your dog to walk on frozen ponds as the ice may not be thick enough to support their weight.
- If your dog does fall through the ice, do not jump in after them, encourage them to swim back to you and call the emergency services.
- Antifreeze may be great for clearing your windscreen, but it is highly poisonous to your dog so take care to keep it out of their reach.
If you need any help with dog walking or puppy care in Bath during the cold weather the team at Binky’s would be happy to help - contact Natalie on 07961 977193 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Our thanks to www.dogstrust.org.uk and www.battersea.org.uk for inspiration when writing the above.