With icy winds from the Atlantic sweeping the nation and Brits everywhere bunkering down for the next cold snap; it’s important to prepare for all members of your family, even your dog! Pet behaviour and training experts, Company of Animals have shared their top tips to ensure your four-legged friends stay just as safe, warm and happy as you this winter.
Wrap up warm
When the mercury drops, be sure to wrap up warm. Whilst some dogs are perfectly comfortable in colder climates, there are plenty of breeds that need an extra layer to stay warm. Puppies and older dogs often struggle with regulating their temperature, so invest in a warm dog coat to make winter walks a more enjoyable experience for your furry friend.
When you return home it’s also important to remember to dry off snow and ice from your dog’s fur and give their paws a wash. As salt, grit and even anti-freeze can linger on paws, it’s important to give these a rinse after every walk to avoid dryness and stomach problems. Using a paw moisturiser such as Pet Head’s Oatmeal Paw Butter before and after walks will help nourish and protect paws by creating a barrier against ice and snow.
Cold temperatures are not the only hazard to watch out for at this time of year. With a blanket of snow and ice, it’s important to keep an eye out for hidden dangers. It’s wise to always keep your dog on the lead in winter, especially when walking through fresh snow to avoid your dog falling into holes or water covered by snow or ice. The Halti Double Ended Lead has three handy adjustable lengths so when icy it’s a good idea to keep your dog on the shortest length. It also has a reflective strip woven into the fabric for extra visibility in the dark.
Less is more
On especially frosty and cold days it’s important to remember that a long walk can sometimes do more harm than good. Conditions like stiff joints, or dry skin may worsen from long cold walks. Limit outside time by taking shorter walks and find alternative ways to keep your dog active. There are plenty of games you can play indoors, and doggy brain-training works wonders for burning off pent up energy. A puzzle feeder such as the Green Slow Feeder is another great way to provide some extra mental stimulation for your dog whilst indoors.
When indoors make sure your dog has somewhere cosy and warm to sleep. Preferably dogs should sleep off the floor and away from ‘drafty’ areas during the winter. If their usual sleeping spot is somewhere cold, be sure to offer extra blankets and cushions. Colder weather and drafts can make both joints and muscles stiff and achy, particularly if your dog already struggles with these issues. By offering somewhere warm to rest it will reduce the likelihood of these issues occurring or getting worse.
Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be sure to keep your dog safe, warm and happy on your adventures this winter.