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Things To Do With Your Dog In Winter

Once the nights start drawing in and the temperature drops we must consider that it’s not only us that feel the difference, it’s our furry friends too. It is inevitable that you will not spend as much time outside as you would in the summer. It is always a lot harder to find things to do with your dog in winter. However, just because we don’t want to go out so much it doesn’t mean our dogs don’t want to too. My Hudson doesn’t care if it’s 100 degrees or minus 5 he will go out whatever the weather. As for Nelly, as soon as it gets below 20 degrees she wants to curl up and hibernate ha-ha.

So here are a few ideas for things to do with your dog in winter.

Things top do with your dog in winter

Winter Walks

It doesn’t matter where you live, your dog still needs to have exercise. Nobody likes getting out of a nice warm bed to pull on layers and go out into the cold. However, our dogs need to go out and exercise much the same as our bodies need it too.

There are two things every dog owner should be wary of come the winter. These are Frostbite and Hypothermia.

  • Frostbite – Frostbite effects dogs just as it does us humans. When the body gets cold it draws blood from the extremities, to the core of the body, to try to help it stays warm. Therefore, your dogs ears, paws and tail can get seriously damaged when ice crystals form in the tissue. Unfortunately this is not immediately obvious. Only when they start to thaw out does it become extremely painful. Also, in serious conditions, the skin can turn black and fall off.
  • Hypothermia – If your dog spends too much time in the cold and wet he can easily develop hypothermia. This is particularly prevalent in older dogs or dogs that are in ill health. You will notice he starts to shiver and his ears and feet will get cold. As it gets worse you may see signs of lethargy, weakness and depression. These are all signs he needs to get back indoors in the warmth. If it gets really bad his muscles will stiffen and the heart rate will slow down. This can be life threatening so you must be able to recognise the symptoms early on.

Just because it is cold outside it does not mean you should not be taking your dog out. If you have small breeds and sort haired breeds then a coat is ideal. You must remember though that a coat will not protect your dogs ears, paws and tail from the cold. Feel free to read my article here on whether dogs need coats.

A great tip for winter walks is to think about the time you are going for a walk. If you can then take your dog out later in the morning, once the temperature rises, then all the better. Try to avoid the last thing at night when the temperature has dropped. If it is sunny during the day then try to go out in the sun. Just a little bit of sun can make a massive difference to the walk. It will also give you both some well needed vitamin D.

How to protect your dog during the winter
Dinky enjoying herself in the snow in England. She now lives in Canada.

Plan your Walks

Walking in winter can be a lot more hazardous than it is in summer. For example, if you live near a pond, river, or the sea your four legged friend may love jumping in the water. Of course, during the winter this can be extremely dangerous. The cold water can cause hypothermia and there is the danger of falling through ice.

You may need to trim his fur between his paws. This will help prevent ice balls forming which can be really painful.

Think about the footpaths. Are they icy? Have they been treated? if they are icy there will be slip hazards for both of you. Also, if it has been treated with chemicals or salt, this can get between his paws and can irritate his foot pads.

Think of where you are going. If it is dark, try to keep to lit up areas and wear bright or fluorescent clothing so that others can see you. We used to have a small light on our Nessa’s collar so if she was running in a nearby field then we could always see where she was.

 

 

 

How to protect your dog during winter
Tracy, Nessa and Dinky enjoying the snow.

Food and Health

During winter you and your Dog are likely to have a lot less exercise. Therefore, it is a good idea to cut down on BOTH of your food intakes !!! ha-ha. Water is just as important in winter as it is in summer. Ensure your furry friend gets plenty of water when exercising and keep him hydrated.

As for health wise, if your Dog is getting on a bit and is suffering from arthritis then he may feel the cold in his joints. If he starts to feel a lot of discomfort, a trip to the vet should be arranged.

A good moisturiser is useful to help prevent skin cracking on his paws, ears and tail. There are various types available. You can also get supplements you can add to his food that keeps your Dogs coat healthy in the winter.

Shop For New Bedding

Is it time to go and get your loved one a new bed? Think about where your Dog will be sleeping at night. Try to keep his bed in a familiar area but away from any drafts and doors that keep opening and closing. Extra blankets on his bed can help, and raise it off any stone or tiled floor. You may even find that during cold spells he will be more determined to get on the sofa with you or even try to get on your bed. This is only because he wants extra warmth. (Or he is just spoilt ha-ha).

Things top do with your dog in winter

If you have an open fire in the winter this can be extremely dangerous. Make sure you have a suitable fireguard so he cannot get too close, or if the fire “spits,” he will not come to harm from rogue embers.

Play Games With Your Dogs

If we are spending more time indoors than usual, our dogs will get bored and can sometimes isolate themselves and become lonely. They will then turn to inventing their own entertainment. This can be very dangerous for your household furniture and pocket. They can turn to chewing and tearing inappropriate items like the sofa, clothing, bags and your prized slippers. Don’t ever think they are doing this for revenge as that’s not how they think. They are just restless. They don’t have any knowledge of the value of items.

Games to play with dogs

Dogs need to have times of activity and to get their hearts racing. The important factor here is that we do too. If we are stuck inside our homes, the last thing we should be doing is spending all day lounging on the sofa watching TV. We and our dogs will end up turning into slobs, with half-eaten sofa’s, that we don’t fit on anymore !!!!

Have a look at this link here of a collection I have made of Games To Play With Dogs.

Grooming

During winter it will be a lot easier for your Dog to get wet and filthy. They really don’t care about how they look and if they are wet and covered in mud. However, as previously mentioned, you need to look after their coat to look after their health. Make sure you bathe them and ensure they are dried thoroughly before letting them outside again. Don’t over do it with the washing and shampooing as this can also damage the fur and lead to skin conditions. Speak to a vet or professional groomer for advice on how often to bathe.

Conclusion

Looking after our loved ones in winter should not be a chore but should just be a change of routines. A little more thought needs to go into your daily activities, but it really should not cause any issues. As long as you stick to ensuring you are getting adequate exercise and think about your pets health then you should not go far wrong.

Please feel free to drop any hints or advice you want to share.

Until next time. All the best.

David

8 thoughts on “Things To Do With Your Dog In Winter”

  1. Thank you so much for sharing a good article to know more about things to do with your dog during winter, as we live in Canada, winter can be cold and long, and living with a dog in the house can be a challenge during this time of the year, our dog is a very good at staying in the house for some hours, but I know he needs som exercise too, so we take him for a walk twice everyday, but I never though about dogs can also be hurt by staying out when weather is cold and what to do to prevent that, after reading your article, I know more about how to keep my dog safe during winter, we and our dog thank you for your help to share these tips!

    Reply
    • Hi Alejandra, thank you very much for your comment. Having spent a great deal of time in Canada I know exactly the issues you can have. Exercise is really important and it can be a struggle to find the right time to do it. As you have mentioned it is very easy to forget the harm that can be done whilst your loved one is out in the cold weather. Moisturisers and conditioners are really useful, for their hair and skin, after they have had exposure to the cold. Also a nice warm bed is great 🙂

      Reply
  2. Very interesting article. I really love dogs and your tips will help me for sure. I like the part in which you talk about how to prepare your dog for winter.

    You gave me some good advice on how to take care of him and make him enjoy winter more.

    Keep posting good and informative content like this.

    I will come back to this site for sure.

    Reply
    • Hi there and thank you for your comment. I’m really pleased you like my advice on taking care of our dogs in winter. It’s amazing that a lot of people do not understand the dangers there are. I hope you enjoy the other useful tips within my website.

      Thanks again

      David 

      Reply
  3. Haha thanks for the article my guy! I actually found this really helpful. I’m not a dog owner myself, but I definitely do aspire to have one! I’m most likely going to get a husky.. Also, I live in Florida.. With that being said, how does that affect how I take care of my dog during winter? Is a husky the right dog to get if you live in Florida? 

    Reply
    • Hey and thank you for your comments. I’m glad you liked my article. As for owning a Husky, they are fantastic animals but they are native of Siberia so are used to cold climates. Having one in Florida would certainly cause detrimental issues with its health. They have very heavy hair which needs a lot of grooming. The climate is very warm and humid in Florida so a Husky will have a lot of problems with the heat. He would have to be clipped to keep him cool, but these dogs should not have their hair clipped. My advice would to look for a breed that enjoys hot weather and is not heavy with hair that is designed to keep him warm. I hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Thanks a lot for sharing about this amazing and wonderful post about the my dog leads and collars. It’s really educational on how to take care of a dog in winter. I never had a dog, just thought of getting one for my kid, I believe I now know how to treat one in winter. 

    Reply
    • Hi and thanks for your comment. I’m glad I could have been able to help. Please have a look throughout my other posts and you will find plenty of great information about keeping and looking after dogs.

      All the Best

      David 

      Reply

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