It was great to be back at the refuge today, especially as it wasn’t too cold and was bright and sunny. As the temperatures plummet we all know to put on a cosy jacket, hat and gloves before we venture out but what about our dogs? How do we know if our dogs are cold and how can we make sure they are comfy on their walks on even the coldest day?
Well all dogs are different, long haired and short coated dogs, young and older dogs will have different tolerance levels to the cold weather. Some dogs have double coats to help them keep warm but don’t think that because your dog has a coat he will not feel the cold. Some breeds are closer to the ground and their bellies become wet and cold quickly when out, this can cause a dog’s temperature to plummet.
Dogs feeling cold also show it in different ways but some of the most common are a hunched stance, tail between the legs, shivering, whining, and lethargy.
To ensure our furry friends are nice and cosy, provide a warm dry bed which is in an area free from drafts. Remember that certain floor surfaces such as tiles, become very cold so make sure your dog is not left sleeping on a cold surface as he has nowhere else to go. Dog coats or dog sweaters are great for when your dog ventures outside even if just out into the garden and can be worn inside as well-depending on your dog and how cold it gets where you live. These are particularly great for dogs without adequate protection of their own such as lean, small or older dogs.
Please remember that the salty grit placed on pavements can irritate your dog’s paws and if it contains chemicals can be toxic should your dog lick their paws. Keep a bowl of water and a towel ready at the door to give their paws a wash when you get back from a walk.
Keep an eye on how long your dog is outside and don’t forget your dog is out in the garden if you have closed the door. When your dogs are outside don’t forget to put any antifreeze or screen wash well out of the dogs reach. Anti-freeze, screen wash and some types of de-icers contain ethylene glycol which is poisonous to dogs. The scary thing about antifreeze is that it is very sweet which makes it very attractive to many dogs. Even a small amount can be fatal so seek immediate veterinary advice if you suspect that your dog has swallowed or come into contact with any.
One more of our dogs found their owners thanks to the fact it was identified so that’s one less who will be in a cold kennel. Dogs don’t like being cold any more than we do so wrap them up well and keep them cosy!
Keep you dogs cosy!