As a cold snap finally arrived last week, Dogs Trust, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity, is reminding pet owners to take extra steps to help their four-legged friends cope with the wintry conditions.
Let your dog’s winter coat grow, and if you have a puppy, short-haired or old dog it is a good idea to buy him a sensible coat to keep out the chill.
Keep your dog on a lead if it is snowing very heavily. Snow can be disorienting and can affect a dog’s sense of smell so he could become lost easily.
Make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing an ID tag in case he does get lost. Wearing a tag is a legal requirement.
Grit used to melt snow can cut their paws so make sure you wipe your dog’s legs and feet when you come indoors after a snowy walk.
Antifreeze is highly poisonous but tasty to dogs! Keep it well out of their reach.
Never leave your dog in a car during extreme weather, hot or cold.
Do not let your dog walk on frozen ponds – the ice may not be thick enough to take his weight.
If your dog does fall through the ice never be tempted to go after them but encourage them to swim back to you or to the bank as you call for help.
Clarissa Baldwin OBE