What influences do I need to be aware of in Winter?
- Cold Weather
- AntiFreeze & Grit
- Inside Heating
Mud and Paws
Mud? Surely that is the best thing for dogs in winter, they spend all their time playing in it. Apart from the annoyance of trying to keep them clean what else can there be to worry about?
For paws mud can dry them out and cause cracks. If mud is not cleaned off it can hide cracks and stones between their feet which is not comfortable for you dog. Wet mud is also possibly linked to something called Alabama Rot, which is a nasty infection that can be fatal.
Cold Weather and Paws
Cold weather can cause frostbite and even ice burns on paws, especially with the change from a warm house to cold outside weather. A sign of frostbite is that the dog is sore when you touch the paw, when the paw starts to warm up it can even swell and become red. Ice burns can be caused by exposure to sub-cold temperatures or even ice getting trapped between their toes. These will be red sore paw pads and can be combined with red cracks. It can take a few days to see these after exposure to the cold so it's best to try and prevent these from happening where possible.
Anti-Freeze, Grit and Paws
Antifreeze can end up being mixed into the salt used to grit the roads and used within cars for window washing. Even if it is not used to grit the roads it can find its' way into puddles from being used on cars. These is extremely dangerous to dogs and the best thing is to make sure dogs don't lick the paws and that their paws are washed after possible exposure to antifreeze.
Inside Heating and Paws
Inside heating is lovely to be all cosy and have cuddles in. But with constant changes of temperature from outside to inside the warm house can be very drying to dogs paws. This can expose them to cracking and the potential of infections. Make sure you are keeping an eye on those paws so you can keep them hydrated.