If, like us, you’ve woken up to a blanket of snow outside, you may be wondering and dreading taking Fido for his all important walk. But there are ways to make it safer and more enjoyable for both of you.
- Be seen – RSPCA suggests that both you and your dog wear reflective clothing so you are both visible. A reflective coat or collar are good options for your dog.
- Stay warm – a winter coat for your dog, particularly for older dogs or those with thin fur, can help keep them warm. Dry your dog off with a towel as soon as they get in.
- Watch their paws – as a human you know that you need to wear the correct footwear to protect your feet, but for a dog it’s not as simple. Snow can become impacted in their paws which causes discomfort. Make sure you clean their paws off when you return home or invest in some dog booties. The PDSA also suggests trimming the fur between their toes to stop clumps forming.
- Stay away from water – iced over ponds and lakes can crack under a dog’s weight. It’s best to stay away and keep your dog on a lead around these areas.
- Check for signs of hypothermia – dogs can get sick in the cold too so limit the amount of time you’re outside. Shivering, paleness, low energy and bad co-ordination are all signs of hypothermia. If you notice these then bring your dog inside and gradually warm them up by placing blankets beneath and above them. If they are awake try to get them to drink lukewarm water. Take them to a vet for a thorough check over. (Advice from PDSA).
Finally, if your dog loves to play in the snow, then enjoy it while it lasts!