Many pet owners, especially dog ones, have a misconception that they’d be fine outside in Winter because they have fur, but this isn’t always necessarily the case. In the cold weather dogs still need help for warmth and these tips will help!
Some of these tips you may of never heard of before, so it’s important you read it all to ensure your dogs’ safety in the Winter is at it’s best!
Frostbite can start when your dogs’ body is cold, the body will automatically pull blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The dog’s paws, tail and ears can get so cold that ice crystals can start to form in the tissue and then damage it. The unfortunate thing about frostbite is that it’s not visible and immediately obvious.
The signs you should be looking out for are pale and grey skin, that could also be hard and cold. Then as frostbitten areas warm, it could be extremely painful.
Another weather condition caused by the cold could be Hypothermia. This can occur when a dog spends too much time in the cold, gets wet in cold conditions or when the dog is already in poor health and is exposed to the cold. In very mild cases, your dog way shiver or their ears and feet will become marginally cold.
As it develops and progresses, your dog may show signs of depression and weakness and as it worsens, their muscles can become stiff, their heart and breathing rates slow and you might find they can’t respond to stimuli, very severe Hypothermia can be life threatening.
How to Know If it’s Too Cold For Your Dog?
If it is too cold for yourself to stand outside without a coat than it’s probably too cold for your dog too. We recommend to pay attention to their behaviour outside in these colder conditions.
If your dog seems to be shivering, whining or they appear anxious, or he stops playing etc, then it’s time to bring him in.
How to Protect your Dog in The Winter
- Temperature – Some dogs do have naturally thick fur which will keep them a lot warmer than the average dog, but dogs that have a thinner coat might find it beneficial with a jumper or dog coat when out on Winter walks. A good dog coat should reach from the neck to the base of the tail, while also protecting the belly. Unfortunately, these coats will not prevent Frostbite on ears, paws or tails, so just because they have another layer on doesn’t always mean the cold can’t reach them.
- Winter Sun – Try to go for walks when it’s a little bit warmer out, such as late morning or early afternoon. If the Winter sun comes out, try and get out in the garden etc just in case you can’t go for a walk.
- At Home in Bed– As well as keeping them cozy outside, keep them warm inside too. Try and place their bed in a warm spot and if you see them lying on a cold ground, offer to move them! Warm blankets and raised beds will be sure to keep them happy and cozy, having a snug environment will get them through the Winter months!
- Heating Sources – Most homes will bring out the heater or turn on the fire, dogs will normally be attracted to these warm sources and place themselves in front of it. Remember the risk that they could be burned, just make sure everything’s pet-proof and it should all go well!
- Moisturise – Have you already been in the cabinets because your skin’s feeling a little dry? Grab some for your dog too! You can buy dog-friendly moisturiser and paw cream too, as you want to keep your dogs’ skin and coat healthy, and not dry or cracking.
- Snow Removal – Snow can be fun, but also dangerous for dogs. Snow piled fences, gates etc can be deceiving, dogs will be intrigued to jump through them but not being able to see the whole thing could mean that it goes very wrong. When you see fences, if you can try and push the snow off to see whether it’s safe for your dog or not.
- Watch Where You Walk – If you’re walking in some unfamiliar places make sure you keep a look out for frozen lakes or ponds if snow is covering it to be sure you or your dog don’t walk anywhere dangerous.
- AntiFreeze – With driving in Winter comes Antifreeze, the product we all love, though we don’t know what effect it has on dogs. It has a sweet taste for dogs and they will willingly drink or lick it if available to them. Antifreeze is very toxic and even a small amount can be very, very fatal to dogs. If possible, try and keep your dog away from possible places where it might be.
- Dogs in Cars – We all know how important it is to keep your dogs out of the car in the summer, and it’s the same in Winter; though it’s because of very cold weather conditions. If you know your dog will be in a situation as above, we’re sure they’d much rather be at home in bed than freezing in the car.
- Night Walks – If you have no choice but to go for a night walk with your dog, make sure you both wrap up warm, as well as using a Reflective Lead. Our NEW Reflective Clip to Collar is a black lead with a reflective strip for safety in the dark.This innovative Gencon product is an ideal for the Winter as it provides added safety when walking in the dark. This is the same as the All-in-1 but with an additional Trigger Hook at the handle end.
This end of the lead can be made to form a handle or can be clipped to your dog’s own collar forming a loop, which may give new users more confidence, or is good for use on wriggly puppies.
The collar not only is Reflective, it also helps your dog to stop pulling so any obstacles can be avoided.
If you want to know more about Safely walking your dog in the dark, read here…
It’s important we keep them safe through the Winter, and before you know it you’ll both be running in fields in Spring!
If you’ve ever experienced how exhausting and embarrassing it can be when your dog is pulling on the lead, or lunging at other dogs and people, you will be pleased to discover that Gencon has a solution.
The Gencon® All-in-1 and Headcollars are made from soft yet durable fabric and are specifically designed not to pull up into your dog’s eyes or uncomfortably turn their head, making them the perfect lead training accessories for grown dogs and puppy walking.
The Gencon consists of two simple loops that apply gentle pressure when your dog pulls, the lead gently but effectively stops your dog pulling forwards.
Don’t believe us? Read this!
Want to see and read more excellent testimonials like this one? Read the rest here.
Did you know?
The Gencon dog head collar is recommended by The Guild of Dog Trainers
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