The snow is here!!!
We all turn back into children the minute the snow arrives and a snow ball fight is a must!! The dogs (well most) love the snow too bouncing through it, rolling in it and catching snowballs that magically disappear.
As much fun as we are all having there are a few things to look out for in cold and frosty weather with your dog:
1)Paws can crack in the snow and ice: the best advice is to try applying a moisturiser after you have cleaned and dried the feet if they are cracked. When you have applied anything to a dogs paws, keep them busy with a puzzle ball or treat so that they won’t lick it straight off. You can try preventing this type of damage by putting your dog in booties or by cleaning the pads of their paws each time they come inside.
2) Be vigilant of rock salt and antifreeze:
Rock salt is going to be everywhere when it has got icy or snowed, so try and stop your dog from eating it, it isn’t actually toxic to them but it can upset their stomachs and cause sickness just the same as if a human were to eat too much salt. It may also rub on the pads of their paws and cause irritation and cracking like we mentioned above.
Antifreeze is extremely poisonous to dogs (and cats) It tastes sweet to them so they want to lick it off pavements and drive ways or worst case even the bottle. If you notice you dog doing this consult your vet and if you start to notice the dog has a “drunk” appearance you need to take them straight to the vet as an emergency. Many dogs and cats die every year from Antifreeze poisoning.
In the USA it is now law that all products with EG (Ethylene Glycol) the sweet active ingredient in antifreeze have to have a bittering agent added to them to make the product taste bitter and horrible to try and prevent animals wanting to lick up the deadly liquid.
In the Uk there is a petition on going at the moment trying to gain enough signatures that the government will have to review a similar procedure to help make UK antifreeze safer for our dogs, cats and wildlife.
3)Think about whether the dog is cold before they start to show you signs that they are:
If the temperature has dropped enough that you have put on a big coat, scarf, hat and gloves chances are the dog is feeling the same drop in temperature, there are many coats and rugs on the market today some that can be worn outside and some that are specially designed for drying wet coats quickly to stop a chill setting in, like our Ruff and Tumble Drying Coats - great as a layer for outside or even better for drying them out when they come back inside or get into the car.
Think if you are cold and want to go in then chances are the dog has had enough time outside!!
Try to avoid clipping the dogs in cold weather if it isn’t a necessity for their health. They need their natural coat to be able to keep warm in cold conditions.
4) When the weather is horrible the dog might not want to have a wee etc just kicking them out the back door will not mean they will go to do what they need to do. You still need to actively take them for a walk and keep a normal routine, when you are walking and moving about it is much easier to stay warm for you and the dog.
5)Finally around the Christmas period you need to remember there will be a lot more food and goodies in the house including chocolates on Christmas trees easily available to steal. Items to be particularly careful of:
Chocolate: is very poisonous to dogs the darker the chocolate the worse it is because it has more of the ingredient theobromine in which the dogs cannot tolerate. Keep all chocolate away from dogs even the ones hung on the tree and remember if you want to treat you dog to some chocolate you can buy dog safe chocolate for them to enjoy.
Alcohol: Dogs are a lot more sensitive to alcohol than humans and it is not good for them, so mind those glasses popped on the floor haven’t had a helping taken out of them, some alcohol mixes are sweet and would seem appealing to the dog.
Bones: Raw bones are great for dogs and they really enjoy munching away however cooked bones can cause serious health problems including ruptures stomachs and guts. When you cook bone it becomes very brittle and can break off and splinter inside the dog or lodge itself in mouths and throats either way causing serious problems. Make sure where every you dispose of your cooked bones the dogs cannot steal.
Macadamia Nuts: yes very specific but can cause quite dramatic effects of vomiting, ataxia (wobbly) weakness, fever, muscle tremors and depression all of which won't make for a very Happy Christmas.