Winter dog care

10 tips to keeping your dog safe throughout the winter months.

1. Wrap up on walks

It may be cosy indoors, but your dog needs regular walks regardless of the weather. When out on walks it’s important to make sure your four-legged friends are wrapped up warm. Put a dog coat on them when you go out, especially if you have a fine-coated dog, such as a Greyhound or Staffie.

2. Check for snow between their toes

Check your dog’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they've been outside. This is especially important with long-haired dogs as they are prone to snow compacting between their toes and turning into ice balls which can prove very painful. If they are agreeable, you could trim the long hair between your dog’s toes to help prevent this.

3. Check for salt and grit between their toes

Clean their paws at the end of your walk as salt and grit from roads and pavements can also get lodged between their toes.

4. Keep them warm and dry

Dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks and make sure they have a cosy bed to return to which is away from any cold draughts.

5. Keep them active indoors

Some dogs can be very reluctant to venture out into the cold. If this is the case, do not force them out but make sure you provide them with lots of toys for them to play and keep them occupied while indoors.

6. Adjust their food if necessary

If you do find that your dog is less active in the winter months, make sure you adjust the amount of food you give them accordingly to avoid weight gain.

7. Make sure they have good recall

Cold weather often brings reduced visibility in foggy or snowy weather conditions. If you're letting them off the lead, make sure your dog has good recall to avoid them getting lost and, as always, make sure their microchip details are up to date with your correct contact information.

8. Make them visible

As the nights draw in earlier and the sun rises later, attach a small light to your dog's collar so they can be seen when out on walks in reduced visibility.

9. Never leave your dog in the car unattended

Just as cars can become fatally hot in summer months, temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather. Always take your dog with you rather than leaving them in the car for any length of time.

10. Stay away from frozen lakes and rivers

Keep your dog away from stretches of frozen water as it's impossible to tell how secure the surface is. Keep them on a lead if you think they’ll be tempted to jump in.

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