It is snowing!!! I do not think we have ever seen snow like this before in Somerset, we never get snow, unless it has been a quick passing flurry. It has been great seeing everyone running around outside, throwing snowballs and having fun. Who hasn’t had a snowball fight this week?
But as much fun it is for us humans, for our pets, it might not always be as enjoyable.
Dogs love walks, and some love them in the snow, it has taken us 3 days to get our dog used to the snow just so she would go to the toilet, but now she doesn’t want to come back in when she goes outside. Although she now loves it, we have to take some care when out and about so she stays safe. Below are some tips to keep your pups safe:
1. Look out for grit, rock salt and anti-freeze.
Look out for coloured substances on the pathways/snow, as this will often by anti-freeze, which is toxic to dogs, so be extra cautious when walking your dog, and that they do not eat any they find. Anti-freeze is said to be sweet tasting but can have devastating effects on your dog’s brain, liver and kidneys.
Watch out for rock salt and grit as well as it can upset the dog’s stomachs, but can also rub on their soft foot pads causing irritation and cuts.
2. Watch their body temperatures.
Not all dogs can stand the cold, or keep their body temperature. Different breeds have varying thresholds. Watch your dog while out in the snow/cold, and maybe even invest in a nice coat to keep them warm if you do take them out. However, the coats will not prevent frostbite in other areas such as the ears and the feet, so limit the time your dog spends outside.
3. Watch the snowballs.
Snow can often turn into ice balls and stick to their coat and feet, which can be cold and painful. There are an arrange of ways to help get the balls off as they are often solid ice. Melting them with a hairdryer is one way, although be careful that the heat doesn’t burn them. Another way it washing the ice off with warm water and then blowing them with a hair dryer until dry, so they do not catch anything in the cold weather. Watch the video by Herky the Cavalier to see how it is done.
4. Take care of their skin.
Some dogs have sensitive skin, and just like us the weather can make it worst, make sure you have the correct lotion or supplement, to help ease itching and flaky skin. Try to avoid washing them to many times during cold periods as essential oils in their coats could be lost, along with making their sensitive skin worst.
(Make sure you consult your vet before trying anything new with your pet, as not all products will benefit your dog.)
5. Don’t leave them outside!
I can not stress this enough. If it is too cold for you outside, then it is 100% to cold for your dog. Don’t leave them outside. Bring them in and give them a warm and comfy place to sleep off the floor, maybe on a blanket, dog pillow or bed. Leaving your animals in the cold, can cause health issues, or they could get injured, lost or stolen if not supervised.
The cold weather can be enjoyable, but it isn’t all fun and games, our dogs can’t tell us what they are feeling so it is our duty as owners and their family to take care of them.
Hope you all have a fun, safe winter with your pups!
(If you have any questions or queries about how to keep your pet safe, make sure you contact your vet, as they will give you the best advice.)