Rain, snow and ice cold temperatures may discourage us humans from going out, but they do nothing to lessen our four-legged friend’s desire to go venture out: when he sees the lead, his excitement grows and nothing can stop him from wanting to go for his walk.
In the winter, however, when we know we have to take him out or when the snow lies thick on the ground and we can’t wait to frolic there with him, we should follow some basic rules to prevent the cold from having negative effects on him. Although he has a natural coat – thick or thin as it may be – our dog can suffer, leading to colds, conjunctivitis or, even worse, bronchitis, tonsillitis or other similar problems. Like us, the defences of our furry four-legged weaken and they can become unwell under certain conditions. In order to stay away from the veterinarian as much as possible, we need to prevent all the negatives the cold, rain or snow can bring about.
All of these inconveniences are more likely if the dog gets really wet. When, during this season of frequent bad weather, the dog goes out into the garden or we take him for a walk out in the park, he can easily get soaked jumping into puddles or even just running through the grass or snow. When this happens, he becomes more vulnerable to the cold too, he can get weaker and become unwell.
The natural length of their hair plays an important role in defending him from the cold, and short haired dogs are certainly less well protected than their long-haired buddies with all that warm undercoating. When it comes to water and low temperatures, however, the thick, long hair has its disadvantages too, as snow can stick to it and, when it melts on their skin, it can lower the body temperature of the dog anyway. Short haired dogs feel the cold more readily than long haired ones, and dogs with short legs tend to get wet tummies more easily than the long-legged dogs do.
So it’s really important to protect your dog from the cold when you take him out in the winter rain – or when he can get wet some other way – by wrapping him in a coat that can keep the wet at bay. The Raincoat by Ferplast, for example, protects your dog from the wind and wet, and it even has an integrated collar that comes in very handy. Then there’s Trench, another technical coat, it’s incredibly elegant and suits really big dogs too. Techno and Sherlock, on the other hand, hold the warmth better and are ideal for dogs who might be more affected by the low temperatures.
People who love the snow can’t wait to take their dogs for long walks over soft and beautiful snow-covered trails. But if a dog’s paws spend too much time on frozen surfaces, they can get hurt. So you need to be aware of how long you’re out there with him and check now and again to make sure everything is all right. You could even put him in a pair of protective anti-slip paw-wear, like Ferplast Trekking Shoes, which spare the dog injuries to his paws from prolonged exposure to frozen terrain.
It’s not just the effects of the excursion out of doors that can be dangerous. The post-walk period is also very important in terms of preventing the lowering of his body temperature and his catching cold so, when you get home and he settles down, make sure he is kept warm. Keep him indoors, or at least well sheltered. If he gets wet during the walk, give him a good towelling down, even better if with a specifically designed cloth, making sure to dry the more vulnerable parts, like the ears and paws. If there’s still frozen snow stuck between his toes, don’t tear it out, as that might hurt him. It will melt naturally in the warmth of his, or your, house.
Don’t think your dog doesn’t feel the cold: if he’s not accustomed to it, all the enthusiasm in the world will not be enough to protect him out there… that’s your job!
Guest stars: Thelma&Fred 🙂