Winter Hazards All Dog Owners Should Be Aware Of
18 December 2019
Our four-legged friends are members of the family, and it’s important to take care of them as such. It’s a common misconception that dogs can put up with more than humans can. For example, the question “do dogs get cold easily?” is often asked.
Despite their furry coats, pups can still get very chilly as the temperature drops.
The winter period usually results in an abundance of poisonous food for dogs. Dark nights and wet weather can also pose dangers.
In this article, the team at B&M will guide you through some of our top winter care and cold weather tips for pets.
Take care of your dog's paws
Protecting dogs’ paws in the winter is important for their health, comfort and wellbeing - but it can be easily forgotten.
When outside in winter, dogs can struggle with snow collecting between the pads on their toes. This can compact and turn to ice, which can cause pain and serious problems if not dealt with properly.
Grit and salt can also get in there and be extremely uncomfortable. It may even cause sores.
Prep your pup for winter weather by trimming the fur between their toes, and giving them a check over after every walk.
Avoid exposure to potential poisons
There are all kinds of ingestible products available at Christmas time that can make your pooch very poorly indeed.
Seasonal fragranced air fresheners and candles can be very tempting for curious pets - as can antifreeze and batteries for new toys.
Make absolutely sure that you keep all dangerous substances and items out of reach of your pup at all times, and double check you've removed all potentially poisonous decor during your post-holiday cleanup.
Be careful with food
Similarly to the point above, the festive season sees many of us feasting away. Remember, though, that you should keep an eye on any poisonous food for dogs and keep it out of their reach.
Chocolate and alcohol, as well as other rich treats that are more abundant during winter, can make your dog very sick and may even prove fatal.
Otherwise, if you’re entering the new year with a healthier attitude, you could treat them to doggy-friendly snacks like these lovely veggie dental sticks, so that they can enjoy a healthier new year right along with you.
Keep your dog warm
The question “do dogs get cold in the winter?” is a common one. Of course, different breeds have different coat thicknesses, and some - particularly short-hairs - may feel the chill more than others.
However, if you’re finding it a bit brisk, the chances are that they are too. Wrap them up warm before heading out to make sure they stay happy and healthy.
There are loads of clothing options that will be perfectly snuggly and super cute on your dog. Winter coats, quilted jackets and elegant knitted jumpers in all sizes can help you to make a fashion statement while keeping your pooch safe and well.
Steer clear of ice
Despite having four legs, pups can slip or trip just as easily as we can, and this may cause nasty injuries. Look out for frozen patches as you walk them, and try to stop them from licking anything icy as their tongues can get stuck!
Keep your dog dry
Winter can be wet, and while dogs in snow can look cute, it is possible for them to injure themselves while vigorously trying to get dry. Muscular spasms and injuries including limber tail syndrome may result from enthusiastic shaking.
Take a towel with you on walks to avoid your pup getting hurt!
Ensure your dog is hydrated
Even in winter, dogs can lose a lot of water - particularly if your house is very warm or you’ve kept them wrapped up. You may have seen them eating snow, but this won’t help.
Keep their water fresh and topped up just as you would in summer.
Make sure your dog is visible on walks
The nights are darker and begin earlier in winter, and dogs can be difficult for others to see - particularly if they’re small or dark in colour.
Luckily, there are some gorgeous dog clothes and accessories available - from highly practical reflective jackets to flashing collars. This will help to get your best friend noticed and keep them safe.
To ensure your pup makes it through to spring unscathed, practice good dog paw care in winter, keep them away from dangerous substances and food that could harm them, keep them warm and dry, make sure they have enough to drink and keep them visible on walks.