The Doggy Times

Caring for Your Dog in Autumn and Winter

By October 2, 2023No Comments

Now that autumn is here with its crisp mornings and leaves changing colour, it’s worth remembering that, just like us humans, dogs also need special attention during these colder months of the year. In this article, we’ll be sharing some useful tips for keeping your pet safe, healthy, and warm.

Dress for the weather

As we reach for our warmer attire when going out, certain dog breeds; especially smaller and short-haired – plus older and thinner woofers – may benefit from wearing a doggy sweater or coat during walks. It’s important to choose the right size and material to ensure your dog is comfortable and can move freely, plus remember to dry off your dog if the weather is particularly wet. Beautie is pictured above in her gorgeous coat by the Trendy Whippet. As she is from Dubai and loves the sun, she really appreciates this coat when the temperatures start to dip!

Be safe when out walking in the dark

When autumn gets ever closer to winter the daylight hours start getting shorter – which means at some point you’ll be heading out when it’s dark. Luckily, there’s a range of reflective or high-vis clothing you can turn to that will help increase your four-legged friend’s visibility to drivers, cyclists and other people that are out walking. Failing that, there’s also nifty LED flashing lights that you can attach to your dog’s collar that will do just as well.

Look out for rock salt and antifreeze

Two products that become more commonly used in the winter are rock salt and antifreeze, but if your woofer ingests these they can become seriously ill and can even die in extreme cases from kidney and liver failure. Symptoms of antifreeze are:

  • Vomiting
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Generally appearing uncoordinated

If your dog shows any of these symptoms contact your vet immediately. To protect your dog from rock salt poisoning, make sure you wipe their feet and paws thoroughly after a walk.

Stay cozy indoors

When the weather turns cold, your dog will appreciate the warmth of your home. Ensure they have a cozy bed away from drafts, providing a snug and warm place for them to rest. Consider adding extra blankets to their bedding for added insulation and comfort.

Watch out for fleas

It won’t be long before a lot of us start turning on the heating, but in doing so we run the risk of seeing flea infestations as they hate the cold temperatures outside and, as a result, head inside to where it’s warmer and start laying eggs onto your dog’s fur. These eggs will then fall off and hide in the carpets and other hard-to-reach places where, before long, they’ll turn into nasty adult fleas.

Common flea symptoms are:

  • Chewing
  • Licking
  • Sores on the skin
  • Excessive grooming
  • Biting
  • Restless behaviour
  • Visible adult fleas in your dog’s fur
  • Visible flea dirt on your dog’s skin

The best way to combat fleas is to make sure you’re up to date with parasite prevention treatments. If unsure, simply contact your vets.

Keep an eye on your dog’s weight

It’s fair to say that, when the weather gets worse and the evenings get longer, our dog’s walks will probably get shorter – and this could obviously increase their risk of weight gain. To get round this issue try increasing inside games, watching how much food they eat and cutting down on treats.

In the midst of the changing seasons, remember that your furry companion relies on your care and attention to thrive all year round. As autumn and winter settle in, these tips can help ensure your dog stays warm, safe, and healthy. By taking a few simple precautions and keeping a watchful eye, you can both enjoy the beauty of these seasons together. So, bundle up your pup, head out for a crisp walk, and then cozy up indoors – your dog will thank you with those heartwarming tail wags and cuddles that make the colder months all the more special.

As Christmas is not that far away, please also check out our article ‘10 Ways To Keep Your Dog Safe And Happy This Christmas‘.