Friday, 13 January 2017

First Blog

First Blog

Ok, so here we go.........

Very new to this blogging thing so apologies up front if i get this a little wrong. I hope that the posts will get better as i get more on point.

My intention is to bring news, views and articles of interest to our not only our customers (Dogs & Co) and followers (Facebook), but dog lovers looking for some facts and fun on all things dog - and a little cat too.

Now i do have a tendency to ramble and i love the use of !!!!! but i also love sharing information i have gleaned and i hope in passing it on someone somewhere will find it useful or maybe just a little interesting.

and at last to my first article:

The weather plummeted here last night in North Wales and as i let my animals out for their final ablutions, it struck me how very cold and uncomfortable it must be on their tiny paws. 

Again this morning, i watched from the window (cup of hot tea in hand, hugging the radiator) how delicately the picked their way through the snow and ice. Natured answered they raced back inside and faces down in the bowl ate a hearty breakfast.

So i got to thinking, how can i make my pets lives easier in this cold spell.

Firstly i will only deal with the dog (cat the can pretty much look after herself, with a litter tray maybe when it's really inclement).

Ice and snow underfoot: 

The obvious answer is don't go out - in practice that's impossible, apart from toilet, the dog would get cabin fever in out 1/2 hour and start destroying the house!

So either i get him boots - great if your dog would tolerate them and lots do happily, but not mine - or maybe put a salve on his paws to prevent them getting chapped and irritated. It's not only ice you have to watch for, especially if you are walking on paved surfaces, there could be salt or chemicals laid down to keep them ice free.

My dog is quite low slung too, so it's not only his paws but tummy too that needs protecting. And a coat thats covers his tummy too is the perfect answer. It also helps keep his vital organs warm and his back dry.

My answer is short, walks when it's really nasty underfoot (paw), and lots of them. It maybe tempting on a beautiful blue skied winters day to go for a long ramble along the beach, but just imagine if you were being asked to go barefoot in the snow - how much fun would that be? The walks may not be the fun they are in summer, but they will help keep him trim and hopefully keep him from getting bored (and eating the kitchen door - again!)

After each walk or outing, a warm wipe down of his paws and tummy is essential to get rid of any ice, salt or chemicals that may irritate him - a must, by the way, with longer haired dogs - ice knots in their fur can get quite painful.

If your dog has got any cuts or sore patches on his paws after a winter walk little Petroleum Jelly works wonders, but watch the carpet - little vaseline paw marks don't thrill everybody!

Winter Bathing

I try to cut down bathing to an absolute minimum in winter. Dog coats can often take a long time to dry fully down to the skin and i don't want him catching a chill. But bathing also removes vital oils that help protect and keep his coat in tip top shape in winter. A dry or non rinse shampoo is great when its cold if he is getting a little stinky - which he does.

Food & Board

All animals (us included) use a lot more energy just keeping warm in winter. So making sure you dog has plenty to eat and drink is essential. It might be worth taking a look at your dogs diet and maybe increasing the protein to help boost his energy levels.

Finally, sleep.We all sleep more when we are cold, my 2 seem to sleep most of the winter away! If your pets sleep outside or in a non heated room overnight, please make sure that they have somewhere warm to curl up - an old blanket or (preferably) a nice warm bed of their own with sides or a cover to keep out the drafts will help. Mine sleeps under the duvet and doesn't move all night - he does however snore - loudly.

Well, that's it. I hope it is of some help or interest to someone somewhere. All pretty obvious stuff, but sometimes it's the pretty obvious stuff that unlocks an unobvious thought or action that makes all the difference.

For more information on looking after your pets this winter take a look at these great sites:

ASPCA - cold weather safety tips

PETMD - 8 tips for caring for your pet this winter

Dogs Trust - Winter weather advice

Dogs & Co - Chilly Dogs

Thank you 🐾

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