With winter now approaching and temperatures dropping rapidly, our companions will need a little extra help from us to make them comfortable, safe and prevent certain influences the cold weather may bring. Here are some simple tips on how you and your dog can be prepared this winter:
Keep your dog warm on walks
This one may sound obvious but despite our dogs being well equipped with a fur coat, our dogs will actually benefit from a good quality, cosy coat when out on walks (unless they have a natural winter coat such as Huskies). Why? The cold weather can influence a lot of things, especially if you have an arthritic dog. It can generate an inflammatory response within an arthritic joint, thus, increasing joint discomfort, stiffness and influencing the degree of pain they may feel. So, by having an extra layer in the form of a coat, this reduces that level of effect and keeps your companion happier!
I would personally recommend a good quality waterproof coat that covers the neck, belly and partially their limbs but without restricting their ability to walk comfortably. Ideally, the coat should have reflective parts too so that your dog is safe for when the winter nights draw in!
If your dog has never worn a coat before, it is very important to introduce it carefully.
Keep on exercising!
Please do not stop exercising your dog this winter. It is important to keep them active. Exercising helps to stop conditions that they may already have from exacerbating. Frequent exercise will also help prevent behavioural issues and, of course, adding on those few unwanted pounds! If you can’t get outside, there are plenty of activity games you can do indoors to keep them moving.
Paws, paws, paws.
Ensure your dog’s nails and the hair between their toes are trimmed. This is especially important during winter as it helps to stop them from slipping on icy surfaces which can lead to musculoskeletal injuries. Consider booties if your dog does have arthritic toes for extra protection; although do ensure they have enough grip as they can make slipping worse. If your dog does have booties, ensure they are removed after your walks.
I would also advise to wash/wipe your dog’s paws, legs and even stomach afterwards as grit can irritate their skin.
I hope these tips help and I hope you have an amazing end to 2020!