During the past few weeks, the weather has turned bitterly cold and some parts of the UK have even been able to enjoy a bit of snow. I don’t know about you but when the cold biting weather hits the thermals and layers come out for me.

Just like us ‘hoomans’ our pooches can also feel the colder temperatures. There is always that thought that if animals have lots of fur, they will stay warm but that is not always the case. As well as keeping warm the cold and sometimes freezing weather conditions can also prove hazardous in other ways.

Wintertime can be fun for all the family. Here are some tips to keep your dog warm, happy and safe from danger during those cold spells…

How can I keep my dog warm?

Some breeds of dog are not bothered by the colder weather such as Labradors, Huskies and German Shepherds. However, short-coated breeds such as Greyhounds, Dobermans and Staffordshire Bull Terriers struggle the most, so make sure they have some winter clothes, such as a doggy coat or jumper to wear on walks.

Winter walks

Be careful when walking in slippery, icy conditions. If you are elderly do not put yourself at risk. Spend time at home and play some indoor games to stop them getting bored or frustrated. If you do go outside, make sure that after your walk you wipe down your dog’s paws. This will ensure that any harmful substances are removed from their paws. Remember that salt and grit can get inbetween their toes and irritate their footpads.

Preparing for your walk

Keep paws and pads trimmed as ice balls can form. Stay away from frozen ponds or lakes and keep your dog on a lead near frozen water. Also, if your dog is less active in the winter months don’t forget to cut back on what you feed them. If you prefer to walk your dog in the evenings make sure you wear some bright reflective gear so that you can be seen clearly by motorists. You can also get reflective clothing for your dog too, such as a coat, harness and collar. Carry a torch or wear a head lamp which will leave your hands free to walk your dog.