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.


Anonymous said...

whats the situation on the salt that is being so heavily used on our pathways to disperse the snow. is it a poison to dogs/puppies?

Dogs Trust said...

Hi Matt,

Although the salt is not poisonous, it can be painful if it gets trapped in the pads. The best thing to do is to wash and dry a dog's feet after the walk to get rid of salt / grit / icy lumps that might cause pain.

Thanks for asking!

Alex @ Dogs Trust

Jayne said...

Do you have any tips on how to stop the snow balling up between my dog's footpads. I wondered if smearing vaseline on might help?

lesleyj said...

You can buy a product called 'paw wax' for your dogs paws. It does not stop the snow building up between their pads but it does help to protect their paws.