We had a real frosty morning this morning and it was absolutely beautiful in the fields in the early morning. I thought for those of you following our website would be a nice idea to give you some tips for cold conditions with dogs.
Remember under foot is cold, slippery, and can be sharp icy edges. When dogs run at full pelt they can damage pads and nails in the ice. So ideally walk little later when the sunshine has broke the ice.
Paths and roadways can be a hazard with salt. Salt is highly poisons to dogs. So if you have walked your dog on a salted pathway or roadway, come home and thoroughly wash your dogs paws before it gets the chance to lick them.
Dont encourage your dog to eat ice. Ice can be swallowed quickly and cause a spasm in the gut of the dog. This can be extremely uncomfortable and your dog may hold its stomach tight, drool or appear in pain.
You can purchase dog boots from ruff wear. They can protect paws from the ice. But not all dogs like wearing them.
Keep nails at a reasonable length, not too long as they will slip more if the nails are too long.
If your dog is cold and shivers you will need a dog coat. Luckily my dogs are hardy and never need to wear a coat unless standing around in cold weather. Some dog shows I use coats to keep them warm.
Remember if your dog does an activity you need to warm up the muscles first before expecting it to perform for you.
Don't let your dog run over icy ponds. May dogs have gone through ice, and the owners have tried to save them, only to loose their own life too.
Mud- Oh we have had so much this year. Its been miserable in the UK. Remember that paws which are constantly in mud can develop allergies to mud. They may chew their feed sore. So wash the dogs paws in diluted hibiscrub and then wash thoroughly off, dry paws. Or purchase dog boots if the mud effects the paws, or try to walk the dog in areas where their is not mud. Their have been so many more cases of Alabama rot in the Uk, which is a terrible disease, and its not fully known why dogs get it, but it is noted that mud may have something to do with it. So wash the dogs paws. Any unusual sores which develop seek veterinary guidance immediately.
Dogs that slip in mud a long way are capable of damaging tendons, and cartilage. So don't encourage high speed running through mud.
Always check dogs paws after exercise in winter times. Check the dogs body to make sure of no cuts and bruises.
Remember dogs love the heat, and it not ideal to kennel any dog unless you have heating in the kennels. Short coated breeds are not meant to be in extreme weathers.
Mrs Rachel Savage