Grantham expert shares top tips on how to take care of your dog in winter
With the real winter weather predicted to be heading this way soon, it is time to start making preparations so that your dog will be able to cope with the weather in the best possible way, says expert Sara Barnes of wholetsyourdogoutuk.com
Where possible lift your dogs’ bed off the floor to reduce the impact of draughts or add extra insulation underneath it. Don’t forget extra blankets/duvets to help them stay warm and create a nest.
Are your dogs paws ready? For those dogs with longer fur around their paws, keep it trimmed between their pads, so as to prevent the accumulation of salts and in really cold weather ice balls. Trimming can be done by your groomer, or you can try it yourself with blunt nose scissors. Lift the fur up between the pads and just trim off the excess length.
All dogs need to have their paw pads checked regularly and rinse off any residual road salts etc to prevent the dog ingesting them and suffering due to their toxic nature.
Try to avoid washing your dog in really cold weather, obviously if they really need to be bathed, their coats will take longer to dry.
For short haired dogs, those that feel the cold or those with thinning coats, make sure they have the appropriate clothing. Even if they don’t normally like a doggy jumper or coat, they may appreciate it when it’s cold.
Walks don’t need to be as long in really cold weather. Neither you or your dog will want to be outside any longer than necessary to get the essentials done. You may need to go out a little more often, but at least you will have time to warm up in between.
While you are out at work don’t forget your dog is at home. You might need to make sure the thermostat is set so that they don’t get cold. If you have any concerns you can ask someone to pop in and do a safety check on them, especially when the outside temperature is below freezing to check that the heating is still working and your dog is happy and comfortable.