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A Safe and Wonderful Winter for Your Dog in Snowdonia photo

A Safe and Wonderful Winter for Your Dog in Snowdonia

A Safe and Wonderful Winter for Your Dog in Snowdonia

If you are visiting Snowdonia in winter and you are bringing your dog, you should know that the first snow can fall on the hills around end-October, and strong winds and rain can be higher, because of the mountainous conditions. Many dogs love frolicking or running in the snow and there is no reason why they can’t stay safe and happy while doing so, provided you keep them warm in soft wooly jumpers or thermal jackets, and take precautionary steps to ensure they don’t fall prey to the biggest risks of cold weather.

Warm Fashion for Sartorial Pooches

Dogs with thick coats such as huskies and Samoyeds are the kings of the mountain, yet dogs with shorter coats such as Boston Terriers, pugs or even poodles, can find that their coat does not provide them with adequate protection. When the weather temperature drops to below 10°C, consider using jumper, thermal jacket or protective overall, to keep your dog from developing hypothermia - a dangerous condition that causes depression of the central nervous system and can affect the heart, lungs and immune system.

If you will be walking your dogs on snow, make sure they wear dog shoes, to stop snow from getting into their paws and causing scratches and other injuries. While dogs’ paws do have in-built protection (for instance, paws have a high fat content), the latter may be insufficient in freezing weather. Err on the safe side and train them to walk in their dog shoes before heading out into the great outdoors; it will only take a couple of minutes for them to start loving their new gear.

Keep the Lead Short in Unfamiliar Territory

If you know that snow is covering a flat grassy area, your dog can enjoy some free running time. However, if you are in an unfamiliar area, note that mounds of snow may be hiding crevices and rocky areas beneath. By walking your dog on his lead, you can keep him to more secure areas while ensuring he gets his daily dose of exercise.

Keep Your Pooch Hydrated and Safe

Dogs can need to drink more water in the winter than the summer, since colder temperatures generally mean less humidity. Keep your dog’s energy levels up with supplements if necessary for issues like arthritis, and for the skin, use natural moisturisers such as coconut oil to deal with cracks caused by cold wind (the nose, ears and elbows can get very dry in the winter). Using a natural wax based product will create a nice barrier between your dog’s paws and the surfaces he is walking on. A final word of warning: keep your four-pawed friend away from driveways, since antifreeze tastes deliciously sweet yet can make him ill very quickly if he licks it.

It is easy to teach your dog to love the snow as much as you do. Keep them nice and warm with the right gear, protect their feet with quality footwear, give them plenty of water and ensure their skin is in tip top condition. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures; there is nothing cute than a dog with his swag on!

Published in: In the Spotlight  |  09 Dec 2017