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Winter Health Advice for Your Dog

Labrador with snow on face
The fun festive season is here and families around the country can’t wait to celebrate. But the winter does bring freezing temperatures, dark nights and the possibility of snow. This means there is some extra care necessary to keep our furry friends happy and healthy. We’ve got some simple winter health tips so that you can make sure your pup is wagging his or her tail all day long and celebrating with you!

Keep Your Pup Warm and Cosy

When you go outside in the winter, you wear a jacket. So, your furry friends should too! The cold temperatures can make them shiver and be unhappy. But the good news is that there are plenty of warm and fluffy jackets designed especially for dogs. This is particularly important if your dog has fine and short hair. They’ll really feel the cold and benefit from a warm winter jacket. You may think their coat of fur is enough but hypothermia is a threat to dogs during the winter. So, choose a coat for your pooch and head out on an adventure with peace of mind.


Include More Playtime

Dogs are just like their humans; they don’t always want to go out into the cold. Some of them would rather cuddle up on the couch. But others can get hyper if they stay inside too long. To avoid boredom and to provide them with the exercise and stimulation they need, be sure to increase playtime in the house. This includes toys and treat games to keep them happy and healthy. Learning some new tricks is also a good way to satisfy dogs and make sure they’re entertained. In addition, there may be dog training classes in your areas that you can go to. This can include enrichment games and socialisation that they will love.


Be Cautious on Walks

Most dogs will find snow super fun to run around and play in. But it can also create confusion if it’s snowing heavily. It may be best to keep your dog on leash while they’re still getting used to the new environment. In addition, stay away from any frozen ponds or lakes during the winter. While your pooch may be a strong swimming, it can be dangerous to swim when it’s too cold. Plus, you don’t want any of the ice to break if they’re bounding around and for them to slip and injury themselves. There can easily be objects hidden underneath snow too. This is something to bear in mind.


Make Your Dog Visible

The winter brings not only low temperatures but dark mornings and nights too. For example, you can expect the sun to go down around 4-5pm in most parts of the country. This means that your doggo should be visible on their walkies if you’re going out during the darkness. You can attach a small light to their harness, as well as purchase a light-up flashing collar for them. This is going to make sure cars can see them at all times. It can also be handy for you too! There are also dog jackets with reflective strips on them for walking near to roads. Don’t forget to wear something bright so cars can also see you. If you don’t enjoy going out in the dark, you can always adjust your walk routine during the winter to feel more comfortable.


Check Your Dog’s Paws

During the winter, there is a lot of salt and grit on the roads and pavements. Of course, this is to prevent the risk of ice and to avoid you injuring yourself. But these substances can actually be harmful for your dog. The salt and grit can irritate their paws and this can cause them to excessively lick them. Salt can become toxic if dogs consume too much. In addition, there can be anti-freeze and other chemicals lying on the road that can be poisonous to dogs. The best thing you can do is bathe or wipe your pup’s feet when they come back home from their walk. If you notice the paw pads are cracked, use a paw moisturiser to ensure it doesn’t get worse and become sore. Ice can also build up if your dog has long fur on their feet. It may be best to trim it to avoid ice.


Avoid Time in the Car

We all know not to leave our beloved pets in the car during the summer months. But the same principle applies to pooches in the winter too. Temperatures can plummet very quickly during the winter and leaving your pup unattended in the car can be dangerous. It’s best to avoid leaving them in your vehicle. If you’re going out, keep your pup at home in the warmth. We know you may only intend to run into the shops for five minutes but this can easily be longer without you realising. It’s not worth the risk.


Buy a Cosy Bed

Let’s not forget that our beloved furry friends sleep near to the ground on cold tiles and draughty floors. So, perhaps they need a cosy and fluffy bed to keep them warm. Remember that dogs love to bury in blankets and treat their bed like a den. There are lots of warm and insulating beds out there and you can add your own fluffy blankets to make it even better for your pooch. This is going to make all the difference during the night when the temperature drops.


Are you interested in learning more about dog food?  Visit our informative article about the UK dog food industry.

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