Top Tips To Keep Dogs Healthy In Winter. Last year was a beautiful dry summer, then we pay the price with a wet winter. The first of the winter storms have arrived with rain, wind, snow, hail and keeping us dog walkers wrapped up warm with good boots. But what about your dog? Some breeds are hardier than others but living in centrally heated homes can make some a bit soft. Let’s focus on a few things you can do easily, and routinely.
Recognise the New Hazards On Your Walks
- As with humans exposure to chilly air, rain, and snow can cause chapped paws and itchy skin resulting in discomfort.
- Dark areas or snow-covered ground can hide hazards underfoot
- Stay away from frozen ponds or lakes and keep your dog on a lead near frozen water. If they do run on to it, it’s tempting to go after them but it’s really important that you don’t. Most dogs are strong swimmers and are more likely to get themselves out of trouble than you are. Prevention is better than cure so keep the lead handy.
- Cold weather often brings reduced visibility in foggy or snowy weather conditions. If you’re letting them off the lead, make sure your dog has good recall to avoid them getting lost.
- Have you remembered to get your dog microchipped?
- When the gritter has spread salt on the roads this can be tough on your dog’s paws. It can become dangerous if your dog licks the grit or chemicals from ice-melting agents.
Consider Wrapping Your Dog Up On A Walk Too
- When out on walks it’s important to make sure your four-legged friends are wrapped up warm. Put a dog coat on them when you go out, especially if you have a fine-coated dog, such as a Greyhound or Staffie.
- We have seen some really obvious small light to your dog’s collar so they can be seen when out on walks in the dark.
Get into the Habit of Grooming and Cleaning
- Grooming: Trim long-haired dogs to minimize the clinging of ice balls, salt crystals and ice-melting chemicals that can dry on the skin – especially on the feet.
- Check your dog’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they’ve been outside. This is especially important with long-haired dogs as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls which can prove very painful. If they are agreeable, you could trim the long hair between your dog’s toes to help prevent this.If your dog has very hairy feet, trim them throughout the winter.
- Keep a container of warm water in your car, and a towel. Alternatively a bowl just inside your door so that you can wipe your dog’s paws (and your own boots) when you are back home.
- Dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks and make sure they have a cosy bed to return to which is away from any cold draughts.
We all know not to leave dogs in hot cars, but do you know how long it takes a car to coll down in zero degrees? Temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather. Always take your dog with you rather than leaving them in the car for any length of time.
Signs of Hypothermia in Dogs
This is when the body temperature drops below normal (Hypo means below). Cold fur quickly cools the body leading to
- muscular stiffness
- slow breathing
- slowing heart rate,
You Need To Get Your Dog Warm.
- If your dog is wet DRY THE DOG WITH A TOWEL.
- Then WRAP YOUR DOG IN ANOTHER DRY TOWEL
- HOLD YOUR DOG CLOSE TO TRANSFER BODY HEAT
Do Not Use A Heater as this will result in warming your dog up TOO QUICKLY
A small amount of honey or sweet substance can help combat hypoglycaemia. (Honey is not suitable for puppies)
It is always recommended you take your dog to the vet to ensure they are recovering properly.
Top Tips To Keep Dogs Healthy In Winter 2021