Caring For Your Dog In Winter…

dog in winterWell it appears winter is finally upon on us and as so many articles are written about dogs in hot cars in summer I thought it was worth writing one about some of the things to think about in winter as well.

Cold – The first obvious peril of winter as for all of us is the cold. Some dogs will feel the cold much more than others. If you have a Bernese Mountain dog it’s probably safe to say on your average walk they won’t need a coat on. However, if you have a Lurcher or a Chihuahua it is worth investing in coat to help keep them warm when out and about.
Also in very cold weather dog’s paws can get frost bite as well as irritated by the salt so if you are a fashion follower some doggy boots or if not some paw cream can be inexpensive and well worth using.

As well as considering the cold on walks consider it when you put your dogs in the garden or yard for any length of time. Like humans’ dogs can become hypothermic and at worst this can cause death. Don’t shut them out for long periods of time without warmth or shelter.

Also think about where your dog sleeps and ensure they aren’t in cold drafts and that overnight the temperature doesn’t drop too low where they sleep.

Road salt – It has become more commonly known but road salt often used on pavements as well as road is in fact toxic to dogs. Not necessarily by walking on it, although this can cause irritation, but by licking off when they get home. If grit and salt has been used and your dog has been walking on it is worth just giving their feet a rinse and towel to get it off when they get home.

Anti-Freeze – This solution can be fatal to all animals including dogs. If you are filling your car, see others doing the same or have bottles around be extremely careful. If you think at any time your dog has consumed anti-freeze don’t delay take it straight to the vet.

Bulbs – On the subject of poisons as we all wait for the spring flowers to come through beware of your dog digging the bulbs up as they see the first shoots. Many flower bulbs while fun to play with are entirely poisonous to dogs if they eat them.

Ice – Dogs aren’t great at ice skating so be careful when they are off leash near ponds. The won’t tell the difference between the solid ground and the thin layer of ice on the water. The can run out and come unstuck very quickly and the temperature of water at this time of year can very quickly cause shock and death in a dog and indeed a human who attempts to go out to rescue them.

So for now I hope you and your pet stay warm and enjoy the winter season.

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