Most of the UK is starting to feel the chill now that December has arrived. With temperatures dropping, heavy rain forecast and the threat of snow on the horizon, it is definitely time to wrap up when you leave the house. But it isn't just yourself you should be keeping warm when going outside as the cold can also affect your dog.

It doesn't matter how big your dog is, as winter draws in they are likely to end up getting wet and cold when you take them out for daily walks or when you let them out in the garden. It is important that you help your dog to stay warm so as to avoid them getting ill and to keep them comfortable.

Here are some easy tips for helping your pet stay warm when having to face the elements this December.

Don't leave them outside

While you may put your dog out in the garden to go to the toilet, you should avoid leaving them outside for extended periods of time. You may think that your dog will be warm because they have fur, but very few breeds are suited to the cold.

This means you shouldn't leave them outside unless they have easy access to a heated shelter. This may not be necessary if you only let them out for five or ten minutes throughout the day, but if you have to keep your pet outside, you should create a good shelter and give them a heated dog bed.

Wrap them up

If you have a dog that is very small or has very little hair, you should wrap them up with a jacket whenever you are going outside. Ideally, these should be waterproof to avoid your pet getting soaked through, which can leave them shivering even when you get home.

Breeds like whippets, chihuahuas and greyhounds will all benefit from a jacket when heading outside. However, your dog may not be comfortable in a jacket and might fight you on it. If this is the case, don't push it but ensure your pet has somewhere warm to go once you get back in the house.

If your dog won't let you put a jacket on them, it is a good idea to give them a rub down with a blanket when you get home or move their bed next to a radiator. You could also heat their water or food slightly to help them warm up.

Written by: Hannah