With the UK forecasting plummeting temperatures and snow on it’s way households are preparing for a big chill
However your canine companion still needs to get outdoors to stretch their legs and tend to other needs whatever the weather.
Providing you follow simple safety tips, a snowy walk can be a fun and enriching experience for all.
Keep an eye on your dog’s comfort levels if they start to show any signs of distress or discomfort it’s time to end the adventure.
1. The following signs are warning signs of exposure look out for:
- Appearing anxious
- Slowing down
- Stopping movement
- Looking for places to burrow
2. Be careful when unclipping your dog’s head collar and allowing free running in snowy and icy conditions as not only can your dog become disorientated or overcome by the cold but they may venture onto frozen or semi frozen lakes creating a danger of falling through the ice. If your dog does fall through the ice do not be tempted to try to rescue him yourself, call emergency services and attempt to call your dog to you from the safety of the bank.
3. Keep your dog hydrated. Your dog’s body works very hard when exercising especially in extremes of temperature when he is trying to keep his temperature regulated and will still need a supply of fresh water (not snow) on an icy or snowy walk.
4. Try as you might to discourage it as soon as you unclip the dog head collar your dog may well roll in the snow leading to clumps of snow and ice becoming matted into the fur. These ice lumps will keep your dog cold and cause drips around the home as it melts. Try a warm damp towel to help speed up the melting of the ice lumps followed by a dry towel or hairdryer to thoroughly dry your dog. Check your dog’s paw pads, nose and ear tips very carefully for signs of frostbite such as the skin staying cold and pale or becoming red and swollen if you notice either of these signs contact your vet.
5.When snow and ice is forecast people often start to throw down various ‘grit’ products and antifreeze or ice melting chemicals on drives and pathways. These chemicals can be toxic to your dog causing irritation or death so when returning from a walk make sure that you thoroughly wipe down their paws with a damp cloth to remove any traces they may have picked up.