Brrrr. With winter on our tail, here’s how to protect your four-legged pal on those walks in the cold, damp and snow.
1. Get a doggie sweater or jacket
A fashion essential for short-haired dogs, you can even buy tops with reflective gear and clip-on LED lights so drivers always see ‘em.
2. Brush their natural coat
Matted hair takes longer to dry after walks in rain and slush, so keep their natural coats well brushed.
3. Do a paw check
Ice can get stuck in-between your dog’s paws, so trim any long fur, rub some Vaseline on the pads and consider doggie boots. Also, chemicals used to melt snow are harmful, so wipe their paws dry when you get home.
4. Beware frostbite
Ear tips, tail tips and toes are especially vulnerable. Frostbite is painful, dangerous and an automatic trip to the vet.
5. Boot up
They take time getting used to but dogs don’t like cold feet, either. Pet expert Deb Eldredge advises positive training first: “Put one bootie on, give a treat, then take it off. Repeat that for a couple of days, then try putting booties on two paws, three paws and finally all of them.” Lots of praise required, too.
6. Look out for limps
Cold, damp weather is hard on a dog with arthritis so watch for any signs of labouring.
7. Keep ‘em on the leash
Don’t let a dog off its leash in a snowstorm. They could lose their scent, become disoriented or lost.
8. Head home!
Remember, if you’re bundled up and still chilled to the bone, chances are your dog’s freezing, too. So get inside and turn up the heat!
Pics from Becky Stern, Anniina Rutanen, Robert Jackson, steffyjthomas and Peter Sheik @Flickr.