Winter top tips for dog health
Winter can have a multitude of negative effects on your dog, the temperature changes can exacerbate arthritis; dogs may get less exercise as owners are more reluctant to ‘venture out’ and slippery wet or snowy pavements can stress sore joints or muscles.
Here are a few tips to keep your dog happy and healthy through winter.
If your dog is older, frail or recovering from an illness, or simply a short haired breed such as a greyhound or dachshund, a warm coat may help to make walks more comfortable. A good quality coat will help keep the joints and muscles warm. Popular brands include ‘equafleece’ https://www.equafleece.co.uk/home and ‘ruff and tumble’ https://ruffandtumbledogcoats.com/, make sure to measure your dog properly to ensure the whole spine is covered.
If you have been walking in the snow or ice and the paths have been salted make sure to wash off your dogs paws when you get home. Not only can the salt and chemicals cause discomfort if trapped in between paw pads but if your dog licks its paws when it returns home it can become severely unwell, excessive intake of salt and other chemicals can lead to liver failure, and worse.
Cold and wet weather alongside central heating can cause pads to get dry and crack. While ‘booties’ may be an option, it can be hard to find the correct size and they can be difficult to keep on, some dogs do not take to them and will take on an abnormal walking pattern as they cannot feel their feet on the ground as well as normally. A simple layer of Vaseline can help to rehydrate the pads and prevent discomfort.