Feel that bite in the air now and again? Winter is coming… and while you’re getting out your big coat, scarf and gloves, it’s important to also consider your dog’s welfare during the colder months.
Some breeds and ages of dog find low temperatures tougher than others – usually those with thinner coats. But any dog can struggle in snowy or freezing weather, so it’s good to be prepared.
If you have any specific concerns about how your canine best friend is coping in the cold, please remember you can ask the team at our St Peters Avenue practice for advice. It’s also wise to book a winter health check, to make sure any conditions are picked up at an early stage.
What do you need to watch out for?
Advice for cold dog walks
Consider the following when walking your dog in autumn and winter:
- Visibility – As the nights get darker, does your dog’s collar need a light or reflective material?
- Recall – If your dog is unreliable at returning to you on walks, consider keeping them on the lead to avoid them getting lost in fog or snow. And, of course, check that their microchip details are up to date.
- Water safety – Keep well away from stretches of frozen water, in case your dog runs onto a fragile surface.
After a wet, chilly walk, make sure that your dog is:
- Warm and dry – Use a towel to soak water out of your dog’s coat and make sure they have a warm, dry bed to snuggle up in, away from cold draughts.
- Free from snow or grit in their paws – Residual snow can get stuck between your dog’s toes and cause painful problems. There may also be salt or grit on the roads which can irritate their skin, so check and clean if necessary.
- Do not leave your dog in your car – Just like in summer, extreme temperatures can develop quickly and your dog could get dangerously cold. In an emergency, call us without delay on 01536 512200.
- Adjust food and indoor activity – If you’re going on fewer or shorter walks due to the weather, keep your dog active indoors and adjust their food to avoid weight gain.