You may have noticed that it's suddenly got a bit chilly...  So whilst you're wrestling with "weather" (get it?!) or not to turn the heating up a few clicks, spare a thought for the furry member of your household who is probably using you as a hot water bottle right now (we know it's not just Office Dog Monty) ...

 Office dog Monty sitting on lap under desk

Putting pooches first, we asked our good friend, and down-right clever vet Dr Scott Miller for his advice on keeping your dog healthy now that the weather has turned colder.

Keep your dog comfortable and safe on walks

Dr Scott says:

"Many of our canines are fitted with their own furry jumper, but it does not mean that they don't feel the cold.  Some shorter haired or naturally lean dogs have little resilience to colder temperatures, while snow and wind can chill even the hardiest of breeds. 

Consider a water/wind proof and fluorescent coat for walks on those cold dark days, and always check the feet of your dog after returning home to look for painful ice crystals which may have formed with melted and refrozen snow.  Grit and stones can also find their way between toes, with frostbite to the feet and pads still possible when the snow is deep or a walk is a little too long."  

Keep your dog hydrated

Dr Scott says:

"The internal atmosphere during winters is surprisingly dehydrating for a dog, with radiators superheating and drying the atmosphere and leading to an increased need for water consumption.  Always make sure that your dog is drinking enough, checking that outdoor bowls aren't frozen and possibly adding extra water to food to encourage them in increase their water intake during the cooler months."

How to treat Hypothermia in dogs 

Dr Scott says:

"If your dog happens to be unlucky enough to get lost out in the cold or gets wet on a walk during the winter months, then Hypothermia can occur.  If your pooch is wet, then dry them quickly with towels, then warm them up slowly with many thin layers of blankets.  Warming your dog too quickly with a direct heat source may burn their skin, so take your time while contacting your vet for further advice."

 

What could be better than after a nice walk than tucking in to a tasty dinner, or snack... or dinner, followed by a snack... ;)  Make sure you stock up on your Barking Heads dinners, so you have a variety to return home to!