Ask Away...: Protect Your Dogs This Winter With These Simple Safety Tips

Monday, November 7, 2016

Protect Your Dogs This Winter With These Simple Safety Tips

Many pet owners believe that their dogs are able to withstand cold weather conditions due to their furry coats. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Like us, dogs can become ill when they spend too much time outside during the winter. While their coats offer some protection, it won't stop them from developing serious health conditions. Hypothermia and frostbite are just two conditions your dog could develop as a result of being too cold. So as much as they might enjoy playing in the snow, it’s not always the best thing for your dog to do.

While you might think that keeping your dogs inside all winter is the best solution, this can have detrimental effects on their health too. A lack of exercise could lead to muscle loss, weight gain and mobility issues. So how can you keep your pets safe in winter and give them the exercise they need? Follow these simple safety tips to find out.

Get insurance

One of the best ways to protect your dog during the winter is by getting them insured. The last thing you want is to be unable to pay for the vital care your dog needs if they get ill or injured. This can leave your dog in severe pain and could even put their life at risk. So if you haven’t already, start looking for the best insurance for dogs, you can find. You can do this by reading reviews online, talking to other dog owners or by consulting with your vet. It’s always best to compare different qualities before you commit. This will not only help you get the most affordable option but also ensure you get the most cover too.

If you have pet insurance already, make sure the information relating to your dog’s cover is up to date. You should also check that your dog’s microchip and id tags are up to date and correct too. Keeping these records updated can provide immense protection to your dog by ensuring they get the care they need as quickly as possible.

Buy a dog coat

Dog coats have become a vital tool in ensuring short and thinly furred dogs stay warm in cold weather. So if you haven’t already bought one for your dog, now is the perfect opportunity to do so. Make sure the dog coats you consider are suitable for the size of your dog. It should comfortably fit around your dog’s stomach and be long enough to reach from the neck to the tail.

While the coat will provide some warmth and protection, it doesn’t cover your dog’s entire body. This is why it’s important not to keep your dog outside in the cold for too long, even if they have a coat on.

If your dog has a thick coat, you probably won’t feel it’s necessary to buy them a coat to wear. But it is important to continue having your dog groomed throughout the winter, particularly if they have long fur. This will help to remove any salt or mud build up which could cause painful mats. It will also enhance your dog’s natural insulation, vision, and hearing. All of which can help them stay as safe as possible when outside.

Check their paws regularly

Standing on icy, cold floors, either inside or outside can cause your dog’s paws to crack. They can also become sore if your dog comes into contact with grit salt when walking on pavements and driveways. This can cause discomfort and pain, which can make it difficult for your dog to walk. To prevent this from happening, you need to check and wash their paws regularly. Whenever you return from your walks outside, use warm water and a towel to carefully wipe your dog’s paws. You can also trim their hair around their pads to avoid a buildup of ice which can be uncomfortable to walk on.

There is also the option of buying specialist dog boots which can create a barrier between their paws and the floor. To protect your dog’s paws in your home, place blankets over your floors in the rooms he uses the most. This can help your dog feel more comfortable and prevents cracking of their paws. If you do notice your dog has cracked paws or is limping, contact your vet straight away.

So use the advice in this guide to ensure your dogs are protected from the cold this winter. The last thing you want is for them to get ill or injured unnecessarily. So as well as keeping yourself warm and comfortable this winter, do the same for your dogs too.

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