Our essential tips for keeping your dog safe over the coming months...
Adjust Food If Necessary
For dogs that live indoors, and may become less active in harsher weather, you should reduce their portion sizes by roughly 10% to avoid unwanted weight gain. However, winter for many of our working dog customers means their dog will become more active during the season, so meal sizes should be increased to maintain a healthy weight to keep warm on winter days.
Make Them Visible
As the nights are daylight becomes shorter, you should attach a small light to your dogs collar to make it easier to spot them in reduced visibility/dark nights & mornings.
Keep Their Paws Happy
During winter, your dogs paws feel full force of the bad weather, so keeping them healthy is important. Before and after walks, apply paw balm/wax or vaseline to prevent them from causing discomfort and cracking. Once you are back, wash and dry the paws and add a little more, so they don't dry up.
Also, check between each of your dogs toes after each walk. There may be salt or grit on the road and if these become lodged between toes it can cause irritation. Also, once the weather becomes snowy, after a walk check for clumps of snow stuck inside their toes as with long haired dogs, snow can become compact and form ice balls, proving very painful.
You should avoid fully bathing your dog during winter if possible as this takes off all the natural oils that protect their skin, which could lead to them becoming very dry and flaky.
Keep dogs on a lead when you are near any frozen ponds or even better completely stay away from them! You never know how stable the ice will be on top, should your dog run into one do not go in after them, they are very strong swimmers and if you think they can't get out, call the emergency services.
Many dogs are reluctant to go out into the cold, as are some owners! If this is the case ensure you have plenty of toys and mental stimulation for them indoors.
In The Garden
Don’t leave your dog in your garden alone for long periods of time during freezing temperatures. Most pet dogs spend the majority of their time inside and aren’t used to extreme cold weather, so could develop hypothermia or frostbite.
After your dog has been running about in wet and muddy places don't forget to clean and dry them, especially their paws which tend to suffer the most in the winter period. Also make sure they have a nice warm bed to return to and sleep in away from any cold drafts or damp.