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A crisp winter walk is perfect for blowing away the cobwebs, but owners are being urged to take care when out with their dogs this weekend as the cold snap could pose a health risk to our furry friends.
“We think of our dogs as tough and weather-proof, but the reality is they’re far more sensitive to the seasons than you may think,” Dr Jayne Laycock, vet in residence at YuMOVE, says. “With temperatures set to drop considerably in the next few days and into the rest of February, please think about the impact of the weather on your dog before you leave the house.”
Take a look at what to remember below…
1. Be careful of ice
Dogs can definitely be walked in the cold, but look out for any dangerous icy patches. Rain will freeze at zero degrees, so surface water can quickly turn to ice on very cold days. Dr Jayne adds: “If there is a risk you could both take a tumble on the ice, it might be best to try and get some exercise at home instead. Especially if your dog is a little older, frail or has stiff joints, its best to avoid any slips and falls that might aggravate their joints.”
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2. Watch out for grit and salt
Walking dogs is still something millions of Brits need to do during the winter months, however it’s best to avoid gritted paths and roads where possible. According to the experts, grit contains nasty chemicals that can cause your dog discomfort, burn their paws and be toxic if ingested.
“If you do happen to stumble across it, be sure to wipe your pooch’s paws as soon as possible and check between their paws to make sure nothing is stuck there.” It’s aways better to be safe than sorry.
3. Some dogs will need thicker coats
Certain dog breeds, such as Huskies, have naturally long and well insulated coats that help keep them warm during winter walks, while others will feel the cold more easily. If you own a dog with shorter, coarser fur, it is likely they will need an extra layer.
Dr Jayne adds: “So long as they’re happy to wear one, you may want to consider getting them a properly fitted jacket to keep them warm on their travels.”
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4. Make sure your dog can be seen
Wild & Woofy Spot Your Dog Kit
Wild & Woofy
It’s important to be visible and safe when walking your dog in the dark. Not sure how? As well as carrying a torch with you, consider buying a high-visibility jacket or light-up collar to keep track of your pup more easily. This also helps other vehicles and pedestrians to see them, too.
5. Take a temperature test
“If you decide it’s genuinely too cold for you to take a stroll, then it’s probably too cold for your dog as well,” advises Dr Jayne. “Cold weather can also really accentuate stiff joints, so a walk may end up causing more harm than good. If you feel it is too cold to take your dog out then you can always introduce more varied exercise and play at home to keep your dog moving.”
12 easy-to-clean waterproof dog beds
Earthbound Classic Waterproof Dog Bed Grey
The Earthbound Classic Waterproof Dog Bed is the ultimate in hard-wearing dog luxury, featuring a premium heavy duty waterproof polyester outer, while the removable (and reversible) inner cushion features waterproof polyester on one side and a soft sherpa on the other, making this the perfectly practical cozy spot for you dog to rest after an adventure outdoors. The Earthbound Classic Waterproof Dog Bed is machine washable at 30 degrees, for easy removal of muddy paw prints and odors.
Amazon waterproof dog bed
Designed for comfort, Bedsure beds are filled with premium microfiber in separate chambers and ultra soft reversible design. This pet bedding creates the ultimate place for your pet to rest and relax. The beds have a durable scratch-resistant surface and designed to resist water like dog sweat or urine.
Danish Design – Blue Maritime Box Duvet
This Danish Design Maritime Blue Box Duvet bed features combinations of linen look stripes and denim look textures in three relaxed colour-ways, all highlighted by a special nautical edition of the Danish Design embroidered paw.
Ellie-Bo Waterproof Dog Beds in Green – Tailor made to fit cages and crates (34″ – Fits 36″ Large Dog Cage)
This Ellie-Bo Waterproof Dog Bed features a removable and machine washable waterproof outer cover made from Oxford weave. It also has a waterproof and breathable inner cover.
Dog Bed Mattress Cushion Waterproof Double Sided Puppy Pet Pillow Mat Washable (Medium, Red)
This popular paw print pet mattress has a double sided waterproof pet cushion with carry handle and paw print motif. Both sides are waterproof but only one side has the printed motif. It has a zip fastening with removable cushion.
AllPetSolutions Dexter Beds Soft Waterproof Washable Hardwearing Basket Dog Bed (M, Grey)
The waterproof hard wearing Oxford fabric is easy to clean, highly durable and is suitable for dogs of all breeds and sizes. The bed cover zips off, making it easy to remove for cleaning. The cover is 100% machine washable. Non-slip backing, ideal for use on polished floors and tiles.
Orvis ComfortFill-Eco™ Bolster Dog Bed
This Orvis bed has a soft quilted sleep surface, and a streamlined bolster make it comfortable for your dog. The ComfortFill-Eco cushion is made entirely from recycled plastic bottles and doesn’t flatten or clump.
The three-sided bolster provides security and support for dogs who prefer a place to lean or rest their head, whilst the one open side makes this bed easy for dogs of all ages to get on and off. The upholstery-grade cover is as durable as it is incredibly soft. 100% polyester. washable Personalize with embroidery, up to 15 letters.
YELLOW Dog bed with removable cover / bright dog nest MUSTARD / XS – Xxl size mat for dog, Gift for dog owners
This best-selling yellow dog bed comes with a machine washable removable cover. It’s made of high-quality furniture fabrics, which allows your pet to feel very comfortable inside. Elastic pillows provide pet safety and comfort.
Waterproof Large Pet Mattress
This waterproof pet mattress helps your dog relax and sleep comfortably by keeping them supported, warm and dry. The laminated fabric of the bed helps to repel water and although the bed is strong and durable, it is still comfortable for them to sleep or rest on. The removable cover and removable internal pad are both machine washable for when you need to clean it.
Petface Waterproof Mattress
This Petface water resistant mattress is designed to help keep your dog’s bed clean. It comes with a removable berber fleece top cover which you can easily take off and reattach with the poppers. The removable cover is machine washable and the wipe clean base makes cleaning super easy. The non slip backing helps to keep the bed still as your dog gets on and off.
P&L Country Dog Tough Heavy Duty Rectangular High Sided Waterproof Dog Beds in 3 Sizes Medium, Large & XL/Jumbo
The ideal dog bed for country dogs who get wet and dirty on a regular basis. The tough, heavy duty, hard-wearing, 100% polyester, waterproof material is easy to keep clean. The thick base cushion is removable and the high walls of this bed are filled with bonded thermal polyester fiber to insulate your pet from the cold floor and keep it out of draughts.
Joules – Bee Print Box Dog Bed
This dog bed is thickly padded on all sides to provide warmth and extra comfort with reversible cushions. It’s also machine washable and has a non-slip base.
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