Safe Winter Walkies

The meteorological office has warned of a colder, earlier winter this year. The odds of a white Christmas for the UK are low but nonetheless many of us do experience snowfall each winter depending on where we live.

We are all familiar with the dangers associated with hot weather and our dogs. But, should we be taking special precautions in the snow?

Keeping dogs warm is important, especially if you are walking for long periods. Smaller dogs are particularly prone to the cold so a warm coat is a must. We keep towels in the car so that we can dry our girls before they hop in. Snow can turn dogs soggy quickly so remember to give them a good towel down. Repeat this process when you get home ensuring all that snowy wetness is gone. Snow can dry out paws leaving them cracked and sore. Boots are available if your dog will tolerate them. If not there are balms on the market which form a protective barrier between your dogs paw pads and the snow.

It is super sensible to dip your dogs paws in warm water and carefully dry them when you return from your walk. Footpaths are often sprinkled with salt or even chemical products that deice. Your dog can ingest the salt and chemicals at home and in turn suffer ill effects.

Leaky car radiators can leave traces or even puddles of antifreeze on the ground. If your dog walks in this, that warm water paw dip will remove it from the paws. But, there is a risk that your dog may ingest it when out on the walk. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning take your dog to the vet right away.

Keep your dog on a lead when near rivers, canals and ponds. Frozen stretches of water may look safe to walk on but often they are not. Staying visible is as important as ever. not just at night but during the day when visibility is reduced. Our model Ella, above is showing us her high vis jacket. An important part of her wardrobe. This is especially important because she is white and blends in well with the snow.

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