Caring For Your Dog During The Winter Months

Aside from the fun and festivities of Christmas, the winter months can be cold, dark, wet and just a bit miserable. But we give ourselves little treats and pick me ups to manage it, and our pets need some TLC during the winter months too! As the temperature drops and more hazards start to appear, it’s important for you to keep your dog safe, warm and active.

Invest In A High-Vis Vest

The mornings and evenings are drawing in, which means it’s dark during peak dog walking times. Which means you need to find a way of making yourself and your dog visible to cars, cyclists, other pedestrians and other dogs. This will not only stop them getting hurt, but give you a fighting chance if they run off and you need to find them in the dark. High-vis jackets for you are ideal, and you can even get a high-vis vest for your dog too. You should also consider attaching a small light to your dogs collar so that they can be easily seen with no other light source.

Keep Them Warm and Dry

It might be nice and cosy indoors with the central heating on, but outside it’s getting chilly! Unfortunately being a dog owner is taking them for regular walks regardless of the weather, which means wrapping up warm and considering dog walkers if you cannot walk them regularly in the winter months yourself. Some breeds are designed for the cold (like huskies), but many will appreciate some extra warmth. This is particularly important for fine-coated dogs like greyhounds or staffies, which are much more susceptible to the cold.

At Animals at Home, our walkers and pet sitters have your dog’s health in their best interest – we will ensure that they’re warm and happy!

Watch Out For Snow And Salt

With winter comes snow, and with snow comes salt. Both of which aren’t ideal for your pooch! So after each walk make sure you check their paws and clean any snow and salt out from between their toes – especially if you have a long haired dog, since the snow can compact into hard balls of ice and cause a lot of pain. If you’re worried about this, you can always get their paw pads trimmed out at the groomer. But worse than snow is the salt. Gritting salt used by councils to grit the roads can be toxic to dogs if they lick it from their paws, and direct contact with it can cause serious burns on their paw pads. So be cautious when choosing your walking routes, and wash your dogs paws as soon as you get home.

If you don’t own a car and your dog’s vet or for a grooming appointment is a far walk, consider a pet taxi for a safe, secure, and warm journey for your dog.

Stay Away From Lakes & Rivers

We all know dogs love nothing better than to jump in the water on a walk and get all wet and muddy. But while that might be a good idea for summertime, it’s not great come winter. Lakes and rivers can freeze over easily, and you can never tell how thick the ice is or how secure the surface. It could easily crack at any second, which could prove lethal for your dog. So while the weather is cold, keep them away from stretches of frozen water, and if you think they’ll be tempted to jump in, keep them on a lead.

Every dog is an individual, and their needs will vary slightly as the weather gets colder. So it’s really important for you to listen to and observe your dog’s behaviour on colder days. Providing extra blankets in your dogs bed can given them somewhere warm to bed down, and they will let you know very quickly if they are too cold or in pain. If you’re not sure about your dog’s behaviour, we at Animals at Home are always happy to help!