That time has arrived again and we are all ready to deal with the cold, rain, snow and ice, while wanting to stay indoors and curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and a box set. However for dog owners like us, this time of year is not that simple.
No matter the weather outside, your dogs still needs their exercise. While winter calls for shorter walks for you and your dog, the amount of exercise your dog requires daily does not change.
There are many alternative ways to keep your dogs active and switched on in the house rather than walking outside in the cold.
- Teaching your dogs new tricks provides them with mental and physical stimulation.
- Playing fetch or catch with a soft toy is also an easy way to get your dog running around without the dangers of taking them out in the cold.
- Hiding treats and toys around the house can also be a great game for your dog to provide them with mental and physical stimulation.
Here at Squires and Beaumont we have put together some easy to follow guidelines to help you understand and keep your dog safe through the colder temperatures.
1. Acknowledge when your dog has had enough
Now this may sound a bit farfetched for dogs as we all know they can get over excited for play time, food and walks. However through the colder temperatures they will start to show when they are ready to get back into the warmth.
If you notice your dog starting to lift their paws more than usual, whining or a change in behaviour whether it be timid or anxious. This could be a sign they are getting cold and are ready to head back home. Acknowledge when your dog has had enough from the smallest indications.
Some dogs may also be extremely hesitant to go out into the cold outdoors. If this is the case then don’t pressure them to. Provide them with toys and activities indoors instead to keep them occupied.
2. Keep an eye on their paws
Salt and grit is great for ice on the roads but it can be quite dangerous for our pets. Make sure to wash and rinse their feet when you bring them inside after a walk, especially between their toes. Also for long haired dogs we recommend to trim their fur around their paws to avoid the ice sticking to their feet.
3. Treat them to a winter coat
We know everyone treats themselves to a few new items when the seasons change, so especially for a big temperature drop in Winter, why not treat your dog to the same!
A warm and waterproof coat is essential for the unpredictable British weather all year round, but especially through winter. Never be fooled by the dogs fur coat.
4. Be safe and be seen
Winter means shorter days with darker mornings and evenings. Not only is it much darker but the cold crisp temperatures can bring fog and mist a long with it as well.
We recommend treating your pets to a winter, reflective coat. Not only will this make you more visible to on-coming traffic but will also help you and your dog find each other if you were ever to get separated while off the lead.
5. Keep them warm and dry
As soon as you are back from a walk outdoors it is important to dry your dog off as much as possible. Make sure their beds are nice and cosy and away from any cold draughts.
6. Keep your dog on it’s lead
During winter you should shorten your dogs walks to reduce their exposure to the cold weather. If possible around your normal day-to-day routine, you should take your dog on regular shorter walks to ensure they get enough exercise.
The cold temperatures are not the only worry for your dog walks this winter but also the icy roads can increase the likelihood of slips and falls so it is essential your dog is kept on their lead at all times.
These are just a few guides to follow in order to keep your dog as happy, active and healthy through the winter months as you can.
We understand here at Squires and Beaumont that every dog is different and has individual needs. Dogs have personalities just like humans and will behave and communicate differently so we want to clarify these tips are just guides and the final decision will come down to the owners judgement.