On one walk in the snow we went across a field covered in fresh snow. It was quite deep and hard work for my old dog. This set me thinking about problems for dogs in cold weather.
- Hidden dangers, e.g. holes, broken glass, etc.
- Slipping and Falling
- Frozen ponds, lakes, rivers
- Hypothermia (exposure to cold)
- Health problems exacerbated by cold
Frozen ponds, etc. may not bear the weight of your dog.
Falling & slipping can cause soft-tissue damage or a broken bone.
Older and vulnerable dogs may suffer exposure and exhaustion. A coat is a good idea.
Arthritis can be more noticeable. Breathing problems can worsen with cold air.
The heart has to work harder. Exhaustion can set in.
Salt used to treat icy roads can irritate paws.
Anti-freeze and de-icers are toxic.
And don't forget short-legged dogs (like daschunds)who will find deep snow hard work. They can also get cold stomachs!
Keeping a towel in your vehicle is a good idea, so your dog can have a rub-down after the walk.
Washing paws if you've walked on treated roads is a good idea.
Paw wax applied before the walk can help prevent slipping and also protect the pads.
And don't forget to keeep chemicals well out of doggie reach!
So that's a few ideas on dogs and cold weather and some problems for dogs in snow.
It's all common sense really - you will probably think of other things to add to the list!
Its getting warmer now and will soon be time to put the clocks forward - but my local weather forecast is for frost overnight!