It's that time of year where the weather drops temperature but what does that mean for our dogs. Here are 10 tips from us.
Tip 1, dogs loose weight during colder weather as they are burning more fat stores to keep warm. So provide a coat. Coats must fit and not restrict the dog when running other wise your dogs skin will get sore where the coat rubs.
Some dogs gain weight because they are less active, and you need to diet them. You wont know what your dog will be like until your into winter and can see the dog.
Tip 2. If you walk on pavements late at night, be aware they may be gritted with salt. When you come back wash the paws with Luke warm water to remove salt. If a dog licks salt it is toxic.
Tip 3. If you are running and it's frosty weather note that ice can be a problem to dogs. They can slip on it, they can mis judge the surface on a lake and run on it and it can break and the dog goes in. Several people have died trying to save their dogs. So keep the dog on a lead if you can where there is a frozen lake.
Tip 4. Autumn illness. This is something that appeared a few years ago in forests. It is not that well understood. But what are the symptoms ?
Tip 5. Sore feet and cracks. This can be due to cold surfaces. If your dog runs fast and twists and turns at full speed they can hurt themselves. It is okay to buy dog boots and put on if your dog is prone to cracks. How do you treat the cracks. ? I would go to my vet for advice. If it's minor you can treat yourself with camerosa ointment. Keep feet clean by wearing boots. There ipis a product called paw wax which can help with cracks on feet.
Tip 6 Sore nose, crusty nose. This can get worse in cold weather. To treat use a nose balm, and use it every day and it cures a crusty nose. I have one from pets at homes superstore which is brilliant.
Tip 7 Remove outside water bowls if they are on the floor. You can raise them up for birds if you like them to have a drink. Bowls will ice over, and other animals will come and drink from them at night in particular rats. You dont want to encourage rats because of leptospirosis. Bring the dogs bowl in for winter. If you own a Bracco they drool awful when drinking water, so you can just pop a bowl out and let them drink and then come back inside and pick bowl. up. We have a spaniel bowl inside which stops a lot of mess. They are designed to stop ears going in the water bowl.
Tip 8. If the weather is bad outside, keep your pet inside. You can give them some treats such as cows ears, gobstoppers, tendons etc. Or use puzzle toys if you can Sit and supervise. Snuffle mats, puzzles etc.
Tip 9. Deep snow can hide objects and your dog could plough through the snow and hurt himself.
Tip 10. Rat poison! Rats tend to come near homes when it's cold outside as they can find a place to keep warmer. Lots of people put rat poison out. The rat could then die in your garden and the dog could grab the rat and try and eat it. This in turn could poison your dog. Sometimes people use a poison that looks like a plastic block, and dogs will pick these up and chew them. If your dog has any signs of poisoning vet vet vet.
Mrs Rachel Savage