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Winter advice from Knutsford Vets in Cheshire

Britain has enjoyed unseasonably mild-temperatures throughout much of the winter to date. However, as the thermometers drop below zero for the first time across much of the United Kingdom, you might need to take extra care to ensure your pets’ aren’t affected. Knutsford Vets in Cheshire have some advice on how to keep your dog contented in the cold.

Keep your dog’s fur healthy

Most dogs already have a highly effective defence against the biting cold with their fur, but maintaining its health is essential. You can prolong the amount of time between full trims by ensuring you stop the fur becoming matted with regular brushing. If your dog becomes mucky on a winter walk cleaning them before the mud has time to dry will also help prevent any unneeded knotting. A trip to The Pet Retreat in Knutsford will make this task easier.

Clean your pooch in the porch

It might be slightly inconvenient to get muck on the floor indoors, but after a bath it’s a little cruel to make your dog dry off outside. During the winter you should bathe your dog inside. You can use the human bath to good effect or for smaller breeds you might want to get a basin to use in the kitchen or porch. You should also ensure your dog stays inside until fully dry, whilst stopping them from diving into ice cold water on a walk will prevent hyperthermia.

Keep them cosy

In winter our homes can get cold when we turn the central heating down overnight, but it’s not economical to leave it on all the time. However, you should bear in mind that your dog will be trying to sleep without the benefit of a duvet over them so finding the warmest place in the house is the least you can do. Avoid areas that may have a draft such as above the cellar or next to doors, whilst a hot water bottle will make their bed more appealing at colder hours.

Protect them from winter walking hazards

As for people, dogs are just as affected by common hazards of walking in winter. A number of steps can be taken to ensure they continue to enjoy time outside during the cold months. For dogs with a thin coat and low body fat percentage, such as whippets or Chihuahuas, you might want to wrap them in a dog coat. To find out if your dogs breed will need wrapping up contact your Cheshire vets. Other hazards that you can protect them from include: –

  • Avoiding slippery paths – their limbs can be affected just as much as a humans if they fall down whilst you also run the risk of falling on them.
  • Shorten your walks – for smaller dogs with less energy a long walk might not be necessary in freezing temperatures. Shorten the distance of a walk, whilst still giving them the exercise. Play games inside can make up for the drop in distance.
  • Avoid frozen ponds – although ice may seem firm if it cracks your dog may drown and if you try to save them then you might drown too. Avoiding any frozen water could save your dog’s life and prevent hyperthermia.
  • Look out for frost bite – Frost bitten tissue will appear pale or grey in colour and usually affects the extremities such as paws and ears. Contact your emergency vet immediately if you notice frost bite.  

Ask for advice from your Cheshire vets

Knutsford Vets in Cheshire can offer you advice during your visit which will help you ensure your dog stays healthy during the winter. You’ll also be able to ask your Cheshire vets advice on any specific susceptibility’s that your dog’s breed may have to the cold. Your vet will be able to offer you advice on how to manage current illnesses and prevent others materialising during the winter. To book your appointment with Knutsford Vets, register today and call us on 01565337999.

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