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Important Considerations for Dog Owners in Winter

It is important, of course, to care for your dog year-round. Winter, however, can provide a unique set of challenges for dog owners that must be carefully considered. Below we outline some important considerations and care tips for dogs in winter.

1. Obedience

Winter can often bring foggy, grey and snowy weather conditions, which can significantly reduce visibility for a dog owner. If you choose to let your dog off its lead in winter, it is essential they have good recall and obedience to avoid them running too far in the distance out of sight and potentially into danger.

If your dog does not always come instantly when called, you may wish to consider residential dog training or a dog training boot camp before letting them off their lead in winter.

2. Snowy paws

Many dogs and especially protection dogs love to run, jump and lie in the snow. If you take your dog on a snowy dog walk, it is important you clear snow from their paws and between their toes after a walk, particularly if they are a long-haired dog. Snow trapped in the paws can quickly turn into ice balls which are painful for your dog and difficult to remove.

3. Over-feeding

Some dogs struggle to maintain a high energy level in winter, due to cold and inclement weather. While you can hardly blame your dog for choosing to snuggle by the fireplace over running around outside in the rain, you must adjust their food accordingly if they are not being as active as usual. This will ensure your dog does not significantly gain weight which can cause a lot of health problems for a dog.

4. Fireworks

Winter brings with it a number of holidays such as Halloween, Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve which are notorious for fireworks. Many dogs are fearful of fireworks as loud, random bangs can make them feel anxious and scared. There are a number of things you can do to ease your dog’s anxiety caused by fireworks, such as making them a safe space within your home. If you are unsure how to help your dog cope with their firework fear, contact a residential dog training expert who may be able to offer some advice.

If you are interested in residential dog training to keep your dog safe this winter, contact TOTAL K9® today.

dog safe in winter