Surviving Winter with your Dog

Surviving Winter with your Dog

It’s that time of year again when the days are shorter, the mornings and evenings are darker, the weather is colder, the log fires are burning, and we are all doing our best to keep warm. For many of us, we absolutely love the feeling of being wrapped up in a cosy blanket, next to a roaring fire, drinking a hot drink and watching the world go by. Our dogs also love being able to snuggle up with us and listen to the rain falling on the roof, or watch the snow falling on the landscape. Some dogs love this time of year, and others (including ours) are not overly impressed with the cold weather and the rain, and can often be reluctant to journey out into it. Here are our tips for surviving winter with your dog:

During the winter months it is advisable to purchase a jacket for your dog to wear whilst out on walks. Not all breeds need to wear jackets (especially the longer haired breeds), but short haired breeds are particularly prone to feeling the cold.

We are now at the time of year when many of us will continue our daily walks in the morning and evenings, but these walks are now in darkness. Make sure that you purchase some reflective clothing that you can wear whilst out on walks. You can also buy a variety of accessories for dogs to wear including light up collars, harnesses and also reflective jackets. This clothing will ensure that you and your dog are clearly visible to any other pedestrians, dog walkers or motorists. 

Take extra care in slippery conditions because it may not take much to cause you to slip and fall over. If you are unsteady on your feet then it may be best to ask a family member, friend or neighbour to walk your dog for you. If you do decide to walk your dog then please be extra careful. 

If you have a dog that loves being in and around water, then it is advisable to place them on a lead if you are approaching a pond or lake. Many of the ponds and lakes are frozen at this time of year and you do not want to risk your dog falling through the ice and requiring rescuing. This will then put both you and your dog at risk. 

If you walk your dog in open areas when it is dark, then it is best to keep them on a lead at all times. This is mostly due to them being at a higher risk of injuring themselves whilst it is dark, and you may not be aware of an incident until it is too late. 

When you return home from a walk, always wipe or wash your dogs paws. Our pavements and roads are often gritted with salt and this can cause irritation if they are left in your dogs paws. It is also common for the roads to have traces of antifreeze from vehicles, and this is poisonous if it is ingested by your dog. Your dog will automatically clean their paws when they arrive home from a walk and you do not want them to ingest anything that could be toxic to their health. It is better for you to clean any toxic substance off their paws before they can. 

Many dogs do not get as much exercise during the colder months, so if your dog is not exercising as much, then adjust their food accordingly to prevent them from becoming overweight.

Have a safe and happy winter!