Jackahuahua Max in The Snow in lovely Rug

Winter Tips

*There has been a lot of talk about using cat litter as a ‘grit’ on paths. Please DO NOT do this in areas where your dog will walk.

Some litters that are ’non odour’ contain chemicals that are toxic to dogs, The silica type contains silica particles and is a know human carcinogen.


*Be extra careful that your dog does not lick around any car leaks as most cars will now have anti-freeze added and it is highly toxic, without immediate veterinary intervention this will kill your dog.


*Remember to gently wash off feet if you have been walking on salted paths and roads . You do not want your dog to ingest this salt if he licks his paws after a walk. This salt can also dry out the pads and make feet sore and cracked.


*Stay outside briefly, if you are too cold then it is likely it is too cold for your dog as well.


*Do buy and use a good quality ‘rug’ look for ones that are also reflective.  I have found as well that the ones that also ‘wrap’ under the belly help keep underside warm, dry and clean.


*Don’t leave your dog in the car, dogs die in cold cars just as fast as they die in hot cars.


*Keep nails short and well clipped, long nails force the dog on the back of his heels and will splay his toes allowing more snow/ice or salt to get onto his paws.


*Frostbite can occur in dogs, signs are that ‘tips’ (ears, nose tail and scrotum) will appear pale and be cold to touch. Immediate treatment is warm the affected areas with warm water. Do NOT rub the area in an effort to warm the dog up, as the ice crystal will cause further damage. Call you vet for either a home or surgery visit ASAP. Whilst waiting wrap dog in warm towels or blankets.


*Hypothermia is also seen in dogs in extreme cold situations.. Mild hypothermia causes an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, but if the time and severity of heat loss continues, heart rate and blood pressure decline and cardiac arrhythmias or cardiac arrest can occur. Severe hypothermia leads to respiratory depression, lethargy, lack of co-ordination, paralysis and collapse. Warm the dog with warm towels, heating pads or a warm bath to treat mild hypothermia. If the dog suffers from a severe case of hypothermia, the vet will need to warm the body via warm intravenous fluids

*On walking generally, get a torch and use it, head torches are a great aid.  Take your mobile phone with you, be sure you have good boots on, everywhere can become slippery and you need to take care where you tread, rabbit holes can be snow covered and hard to spot.

Summer Tips

  • The biggest reminder we all are aware of, but needs to head our list. Dogs Die in Hot Cars, in very little time!

  • Always carry water and a container for your dog to drink from. Pound  shops offer lots of products you can use.

  • Grass seeds in eyes and ears can cause nasty infections and pain. I do not let Max through long grass at this time of year when everything is in seed stage. Better to carry him a short way than suffer a nasty infection.

  • Try to make the most of the ‘cool’ ends of the day to take your dog for long walks. Tarmac etc. can be really hot on little paws, best avoided.

  • Watch for ticks and carry tick remover with you. Be guided by your vet on best treatments.

  • Dogs get sunburn too, if you have a light dog ask your vets advice, there are doggie sun creams!

  • Sadly most councils seem to ban dogs from beaches, but where you are allowed on the beach, remember to watch for broken glass and left over ‘picnic’ remains. Fish hooks are also a constant worry .

  • Be careful when letting dogs into the sea, watch the tide, currents and depth. I keep Max on his Flexi, so at worst case I can pull him in should he have any problems.

  • Long haired dogs may benefit from a haircut, leaving about an inch behind to protect the skin.

  • Ponds & lakes your dog may swim in can become stagnant , this can cause sickness and infection, Avoid!

  • Carry your phone with you and have the vet’s number programmed in.

  • Signs of heat exhaustion

  • Heavy panting

  • Glazed eyes

  • Rapid pulse

  • Unsteadiness or staggering gait

  • Vomiting

  • Bright red tongue

  • Treatment

  • Move dog into shade or cool area

  • Apply cool NOT cold water over body to bring slowly bring down core temperature

  • Apply cold towels or ice pack to dogs head, neck and chest ONLY

  • Give dog small amounts of cold water or let him lick and ice cube

  • Seek veterinary advise

  • FINALLY, and this really applies all year round, if you are going out and leaving your dog at home,

  • PLEASE carry in your wallet or purse details that state your dog is at home and will need attention should you be-come ill or incapacitated at any time