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8 Dog Winter Care Tips for Owners

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Winter care tips for dog

Dogs are very much like us in that they like to be warm and cosy, and they enjoy their creature comforts. So, during winter, your dogs need a little bit of extra love and care to ensure that they are happy, comfortable, and safe. Here are some dog winter care tips to ensure that you protect your dog from the elements during this cold season.

Keep Them Active

It can be tempting to cut down on the number of walks you take your dog on as it gets colder, but your dog still needs the same amount of exercise in winter. Therefore, it is important that you try to stick to your walking routine and brave the cold weather – unless your dog is older and has joint trouble.

However, if your dog is reluctant to go out, try keeping them active indoors by encouraging them to play more, doing some training, and by stimulating their minds with enrichment games.

Stay Warm On Walks

You would not go out for a walk without wrapping up on a cold day, and your dog should not either. Be sure to make sure your dog is warm on walks by putting them in a coat or jumper, especially if you have a dog with short or fine fur.

Walk-In The Day

Try to take your dog for walks during the daytime whenever possible. Walking in the dark can be unsettling for dogs, as they are more likely to become startled. Plus, it will likely be warmer, and it is much easier to keep an eye on your dog in the daylight.

Make Them Visible

With winter comes fog, snow, and darker evenings which can make it difficult to have good visibility of your dog on walks.

Get a flashing collar or collar attachment, or a hi-vis jacket or lead for your dog to wear out on walks to make them easier to spot, especially if you let them off-lead.

You could also take a torch out with you to increase visibility.

Check Their Paws

After a winter walk, check your dog’s paws and make sure they are clean and dry. It is particularly important to ensure that there is not any snow, salt, or grit lodged between their toes as this can be painful for dogs.

Dogs with longer hair are more prone to this happening as it is more likely to get caught in their fur. If you have a dog with long hair, you may want to trim the hair on their paws and between their toes to help prevent this from happening.

Adjust Their Food

If you find that your dog is less active in winter, you may want to reduce their food portions accordingly to prevent them from becoming overweight.

Keep Them Comfortable

Our furry friends like to snuggle up when it is cold, just like us! Ensure your dog has plenty of blankets and cosy beds to help keep them comfortable and warm through the colder winter months.

Avoid Toxin Exposure

With winter comes antifreeze which dogs will likely drink if given the chance as it smells and tastes sweet.

However, it is extremely poisonous to dogs, even if only a small amount is consumed, so it is imperative that you keep this out of reach from your dog so they cannot even be tempted.

Following these simple dog winter care tips will help you to ensure that your dog is happy and healthy throughout winter.

If you need help or advice, get in touch with our team on 0116 244 2455, or email [email protected] Through training and expert advice, WitsEnd can support you to be a great dog owner and help you to get the very best out of your pet.


Dr Shahad Mohammed
Veterinary Physiotherapist
National Association of Veterinary Physiotherapists
Dr Shahad Mohammed