Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Winter precautions: take care of your dog in the cold weather

There's no doubt about it: cold weather is settling in.

dog in snowThere are extra considerations that need to be made for the colder season. In case you've missed this information on Dogs Trust's website, I'm reposting it to make sure you have plenty of time to prepare for worse weather.

• Dogs with thin skin, such as Greyhounds or Lurchers, and recently clipped dogs will feel the cold easier so will need that extra bit of warmth such as a coat.

• After walking your dog or if he has been out in the rain, make sure he is completely dried so that he does not catch a cold.

• Don’t forget snow can get caught in the hair between toes and cause frostbite in extreme circumstances so washing and drying their feet is important after trips in the snow.

Older dogs may need particular attention, especially if they suffer from arthritis.

• Be aware of antifreeze poisoning:

Antifreeze, screen-wash and some de-icers may contain Ethylene glycol – a substance fatal to dogs and cats. Antifreeze is available as a liquid to be added to the water in your car engine radiators to prevent freezing. Even small quantities spilt can be life threatening.

It is sweet tasting and attractive to dogs and cats, but is fatal to them so do be sure to keep such items out of your pet’s reach and mop up any spillages straight away. Dispose of old cartons carefully, and ensure you keep your pet out of the garage-especially a new puppy that will investigate any new scent.

Signs such as staggering movements; tiredness; increased heart rate; continuous vomiting, or dehydration may suggest that your furry friend has ingested this poisonous substance. Unless your dog is taken to the vet’s promptly after ingestion and given intensive treatment, recovery may be poor!

If you have questions about an individual dog, or need further advice, contact your vet.
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