The UK has seen a lot of rain recently. Along with Storm Brendan nearly blowing us away last week, it’s been a turbulent time weather-wise. To be expected for winter, I suppose, but it has made for some very soggy dog walks!
Rain is rain and will affect your dog no matter what breed you have, although some breeds will be affected more than others. It is important to bear this in mind when planning your next trip in the great outdoors and make sure you go prepared.
First things first, is your dog going to stay warm and dry? Of course, dogs have evolved to regulate their body temperatures quite well, and their coats are designed to repel moisture and insulate them from the cold, but for some shorthaired and hairless breeds, wind and rain can be more problematic.
If you’ve seen your dog shivering when out in the cold, with its tail tucked between its legs and a sad look on its face, it might be time to invest in a dog coat or jumper. A waterproof jacket with reflective features is ideal, especially during winter when daylight hours are short and the weather turns very quickly. Leg straps can also stop the coat from flapping around in the wind.
Like us, cold weather can play havoc with our skin, making it dry, irritated and even flaky. Your dog is no different and will find changing temperatures dehydrating, leading to dryness and itching. Keep baths to a minimum if you can, and wait until mud has dried before brushing it from the coat.
If you must bath your dog, make sure you’re using a moisturising shampoo that is gentler on the skin and doesn’t strip it of its natural oils. Longhaired breeds can sometimes benefit from being clipped if mud has a habit of clinging to them, making them harder to clean.
For dogs that suffer with their joints, cold weather can really exacerbate stiffness and pain. Wet and slippery ground conditions are also more jarring for the body, so consider this before stepping out.
A coat or bodysuit can help keep the joints warm and your dog moving comfortably. A joint supplement may also help over the winter months, if your dog isn’t already taking one. If you are worried about your dog’s joints and notice they seem to be struggling more, speak to your vet as soon as you can.
Along with rain, snow and ice can spell trouble for your dog’s paws and lead to small abrasions and cracks appearing. A soothing paw butter can help when applied to clean paws after a walk, and you may want to think about clipping long hair on the feet and lower legs to reduce mud sticking.
Boots are an option for dogs with greater issues and can be applied to just one foot or all. Grit and anti-freeze products can irritate the paws, which is something boots can help with.
If there is something particular you’re looking for and can’t find, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to someone in the team. We are always happy to help and answer your questions.
Written by: Hannah