Despite their fur, it’s a common misconception that dogs don’t feel the cold the same as humans, so protecting them from extreme winter weather is essential.
The RSPCA recommends that a dog’s environment should be at least 10℃, so if the temperature drops, it’s time to take action. How do you know if your dog is actually cold? It's not always obvious but here is a useful guide.
Keeping them warm, protecting delicate paws and bringing them indoors are some basic essentials for keeping pet pooches safe and warm in snow, icy conditions and during inevitable rainy walks.
In a natural setting, fleas and ticks wouldn’t be a problem for your dog during the winter as they wouldn’t be able to survive the cold weather. A lot of dog owners will stop treating their dog for them throughout the winter because of this.
However, the majority of homes throughout the UK will have central heating on, offering a prime breeding environment for such pests. This means it’s essential to continue to treat for fleas and ticks all year round as a preventative measure as they can cause irritation and illness for your dog.
Dogs that love to be outdoors in all weathers and have a kennel in the garden should still be brought inside when the weather gets really cold, such as with snow, ice or rain. Following heavy snow last winter, the RSPCA put out a “don’t forget your pets” warning to remind owners to bring all pets indoors for their safety.
Dogs should also never be left in cars in the winter, similar to hot weather in the summer, as the temperature can plummet quickly, and your dog will struggle to maintain their body temperature, which could lead to hypothermia.
A big concern for dogs in the winter is that they still need to be walked and can get cold in extreme weather. Clothing may seem like novelty items, as opposed to necessary essentials, but they can make a big difference to dog’s warmth. Jumpers and other clothing for your dog will help to keep them warm on winter walks and waterproof coats can keep them dry, which will further reduce the chance of them becoming cold.
You should also keep your dog away from any frozen water, such as rivers, ponds and lakes, as they can present a drowning risk and they shouldn’t swim in cold water either.
Dogs are often considered beloved members of the family and keeping them warm on winter walks is an essential part of caring for them. Caution should be used when it comes to potential dangers, such as frozen lakes or pests, to keep them safe and happy.
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