Keeping your energetic dog happy, healthy and stimulated during the winter can be an uphill struggle! Here are Autarky’s top tips for caring for your active dog as the temperature drops.
1. Joint care:
Although outdoor exercise doesn’t always seem entirely appealing to us in the winter months, it’s important to ensure our dogs still obtain adequate exercise to maintain their mental and physical health throughout the winter. Our complete range offers great options to continue the ongoing wellbeing of our canine companions whilst we battle cold weather to keep our dogs active. Supporting our dog’s joints at this time of year is important and diets with added Glucosamine, Omega fatty acids and the likes of Green Lipped Muscle and Marine Algae are great solutions for when the temperature starts to drop. Our Mature Lite & Grain Free diets have varied levels of mobility and joint support.
2. Keep the routine:
As the mornings become increasingly bleak and the evenings particularly dark, it’s important to remember that dogs thrive on routine and often won’t accept that it’s rainy or dark outside for an excuse not to enjoy their usual blast around the park or jaunt through your local fields. Try to keep their exercise routine steady, even if this means being creative, such as hiring an indoor venue to practise some jumping, scheduling play dates with fellow dog owners or training your dog indoors.
3. Be safe, be seen:
It’s particularly important to be seen if you’re walking near roads at dark or foggy times, so invest in some hi-vis for you and your canine companion. Options for your dog include reflective jackets, vests, harnesses, bandanas, collars and leads. For you, there are many possibilities, including hats, headbands, jackets, armbands, and so on. It’s important for both you and your dog to wear them in case you’re unexpectedly separated.
4. Paw care:
Cold weather can pose a challenge for dogs’ sensitive paws. At the end of your walk, check their paws as salt and grit from the roads and pavements can get lodged between their toes and cause discomfort. On a snowy day, be particularly careful with long-haired dogs to check for compacted snow between their toes. Trimming the hair between their toes (or asking your groomer to do it) can prevent them from clogging up with ice and dirt. Protective paw balms are also available in pet shops, which help keep your dog’s pads healthy.
5. Indoor stimulation:
On particularly bleak days, when it’s safer to stay indoors, there are many ways you can keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated in the comfort of your home. Games could include teaching your dog to put their toys away, filling puzzle/interactive toys with their favourite treats for them to seek out (these are readily available online), or even a game of hide and seek!
6. Beware of dangers:
Frozen lakes and rivers are a worry when the temperature drops below zero, so always keep your dog on-lead if you’re walking in a new area where the landscape is unknown to you or when exercising near a lake, river, pond or stream.Anti-freeze is also a danger at this time of year as it’s a very toxic substance which can drip from a car’s radiator, where it can be licked off the ground by your dog. If you suspect that your dog has consumed anti-freeze, always contact your vet.