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Do Dogs Need More Care During the Winter?

Written by Melissa Keen

It’s post-Christmas and that means one thing – the weather is getting worse! But while we’re wrapping up in layers and getting our woolly hats and scarves out the closet, our dogs are also suffering from the cold. Like us, dogs are used to indoor heating and cold weather can affect them as much as it does us. So how can we take care of our faithful friends during the cold winter months?

Avoiding Frostbite

A dog’s ears, paws and tail are all at risk of getting frostbite when the weather takes a turn for the worse. Watch out for signs of pale skin and keep your dog indoors/restrict outdoor exercise time during extreme bouts of low temperatures.

Know the Signs for Hypothermia

Dogs can get hypothermia too. Get your dog a nice coat to wear outside and look out for the signs of hypothermia like include shivering. Advanced stages of hypothermia include depression, lethargy, stiffening of limbs and heart/breathing rates slowing down. Always take your dog to the vets if you’re worried.

Walk During Late Morning/Early Evening

The sun is more likely to be shining during these times. Avoid early morning and late evenings walks as this is when temperatures tend to drop.

Warm Bedding

Choose comfortable, warm bedding to keep the chill at bay. Place the bed away from drafts, cold tiles or uncarpeted areas.

Look After Their Paws

Dogs can suffer from cracked paws the same way humans can suffer from cracked skin. This tends to be more of an issue in the winter months when paws get wet and cold frequently. Trim any fur that grows between the pads of the foot to prevent ice build-up and rinse your dog’s paws after a walk (salted pavements can hurt their paws).

Look After Your Elderly Dog

The cold can aggravate existing medical conditions like arthritis. Be mindful of icy, slippery surfaces and have a cosy, warm, easily-accessible spot for your dog to retire to.

About the author

Melissa Keen

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