When the weather gets colder, it can be great fun to head out with your pooch and play in the snow, but it’s equally tempting to cuddle up inside where it’s warm. So here are our top ten tips to help you and your dog enjoy the best of both worlds and stay happy and healthy at the same time.
Staying warm during winter walks
Your doggo needs regular walks even when it’s cold outside. Most dogs will benefit from a coat to stop them from getting chilly when you head outside. It’s particularly important if you have a dog with fine-textured fur, such as a whippet. You could also add a jumper under the coat for extra warmth.
Stay safe when it’s dark
Shorter daylight hours can mean walking your dog in the dark, so think about visibility. You can opt for a hi-vis doggy jacket or attach a light to their collar. It’s also vital to ensure they have good recall if you want to let them off the lead. As an extra precaution, keep their microchip details up to date.
Cold weather safety
Hot and cold temperatures can be dangerous to dogs, so avoid leaving them unattended in the car. Frozen lakes and ponds can be incredibly attractive to dogs, especially if they love swimming! Keeping your pooch on the lead can be safer, as water temperatures can stay near freezing even when the air temperature rises.
Change your routine
We know that routine is important, but cold weather can sometimes mean that the parks you usually visit are closed because of potential safety issues. However, this can provide you with an opportunity to explore different routes. Also, if you’re training a younger dog, it can be a great way to get them used to new sights and smells.
Check for health hazards
After you’ve been out for a walk, checking your pooch’s feet is essential. Clumps of snow and ice can get stuck between their toes, particularly in breeds with long hair. Salt or grit can also get lodged between your pooch’s toes. These can all cause your dog significant pain, so it’s vital to clean their feet thoroughly.
Check your kit
Cold and wet weather can cause all kinds of damage, including to your dog’s collar, leads and harnesses. This can be uncomfortable for your pooch but can also result in their collar or lead breaking when you least expect it. So check your dog’s kit regularly to ensure it’s still in good working order.
Keeping warm and dry
When you head back inside, help your pooch to get warm and dry as quickly as possible. Dry them off and make sure their bed is in a cosy spot. If you’ve added extra blankets and cushions to your own bed to ward off the cold, your dog will likely benefit from the same.
Make the most of your time indoors
If your dog hates the cold or has a health issue that means they’re better off inside, you can still keep them active and healthy. Introduce new toys and games to make sure they still get some exercise. This can also keep their minds stimulated, so they don’t get bored.
Safety hazards at home
Winter weather can bring new hazards into your home. If you need to use antifreeze or de-icing spray, ensure you keep it away from your doggo. Both are poisonous to dogs and, unfortunately, they also find it very tasty, so it’s essential that you use and store this type of product safely.
Keep an eye on their food
Just like humans, dogs can be more reluctant to get active when it’s cold and raining outside. This can mean they gain weight if their activity level drops but their food consumption stays the same. You might get disapproving looks from your best friend, but keep an eye on what they’re eating and reduce their portions if necessary.
We at PetStay hope this helped! Our dog boarders look after every aspect of your dog’s care so that you can go away for a winter break without worry. Check here to see why we’re your best choice for quality dog boarding!