Just like humans, a dog's needs change with the seasons and it's important to adapt their care to accommodate the colder weather as winter approaches. There are seasonal hazards and health and safety issues that can arise with winter walks, so here are some tips to help you prepare for caring for your dogs in winter.
A wintery walk often means a dip in temperatures, a lot more rain and snow, and ice underfoot. For your dog, this can mean that snow or ice can get trapped between their toes or paw pads, so it's important that their feet are thoroughly cleaned and dried after a walk so as to prevent any sores from developing. Likewise, this can also minimise the risk of salt or other de-icers from irritating their feet and causing bleeding over time. If you notice any sores, ensure that you protect the wounds with a balm or protective gel to stop them becoming infected. A moisturising paw balm in between walks will also stop their pads from becoming too dry and cracked.
Keep Them Warm
Just because your dog has a thick coat of hair doesn't mean they don't feel the cold - especially if you have a short-haired dog. Invest in a dog coat that will keep them warm when they're outside and prevent them from getting too wet when it rains. The same can be said of their sleeping area - a blanket can be a useful addition to their dog bed to help them stay warm and to minimise them feeling the effect of cold drafts. If your dog normally sleeps outside, you may want to consider bringing them indoors when the temperature drops, as dogs can develop hypothermia if they get too cold.
Support Their Diet
Just as it's important to maintain a healthy diet in humans to stave off colds and illness, it's just as essential to support your dog's health. A well-nourished dog is better prepared for the cold, so if your dog loves to be outside a lot, you may want to up their feed slightly to account for the extra energy they'll burn keeping warm. However, if they're less active, adjust accordingly to avoid unnecessary weight gain. A supplement like Inflamex Solution can also be beneficial to bolster the body in maintaining healthy joints and connective tissues.
Avoid Freezing Water Bowls
Water bowls left outside can freeze over, so you may need to top them up several times a day to make sure that your dog has plenty of accessible water throughout the day. If you live somewhere that is prone to particularly cold winters, you can buy heated water bowls but it's a good idea to check them regularly anyway, so your dog doesn't become too thirsty.
Discover our Dog Supplement Range