Caring For Your Dog In The Cold

February 8th 2013

Many dogs suffer in the heat of summer especially those with thick coats and so they welcome the cold weather but it does come with some very real hazards for them so here is our 5 point guide to caring for your dog in the cold.

Wrap them up – Many dogs come alive in the cooler months and bound around with new found energy but smaller dogs or dogs with less hair or body fat really feel the cold and so it may be worth considering buying them a coat to ensure that they do not get chilled.  It has the added bonus of making them look very cute too!

Wash their paws – During the winter months the roads are often gritted and salted to stop the ice becoming a hazard to us.  Unfortunately the salt can be a real hazard to our dogs as not only can it cause damage to their paws in the form of drying and cracking their pads but if it is ingested it can cause serious complications such as dehydration, liver failure and pancreatitis.  If washing their paws is too laborious every time your dog goes outside and your dog will tolerate it you could invest in some booties.  These can also be high visibility so help with both your safety and your dogs when walking on dull winter evenings.

Ensure access to water – If the dogs water supply is outside it may well freeze and so you should keep an eye on this or move the water bowl inside.  Or for those of you who love collecting gadgets you could purchase a heated dog bowl!
If you are on a long walk it could also be the case that the streams and puddles which your dog normally drinks from are frozen and so you may wish to take some water with you on the walk for your dog.

Keep antifreeze tucked away – Antifreeze is very tasty to dogs but is also highly toxic.  It is all too easy for your dog to come across your antifreeze and cause itself some serious harm so make sure it is out of their reach.  If you have any concerns that your dog may have eaten some antifreeze be sure to take your dog to the vet straight away.

Dig out an extra blanket – We all change our bedding depending on the time of the year so why not change your dogs too?  Temperatures in most households change dramatically during the night at winter so spare a thought for your dog and dig out an extra blanket during cold weather.

We hope that you and your dog enjoy the winter and all the lovely walks that it brings.

By Lucy Purves