To finish off the week in which we’ve been looking at dogs, I decided to put together some tips for how you can take extra care of your dog in the colder weather, when there’s snow on the ground, and when there are more tasty treats around, not all of which are good for dogs.
Out and about
Many dogs love playing in the snow, but the salt put down on pavements can hurt their paws, especially if there are any small cuts on the pads. So be careful where you’re walking.
Your dog might recognise its favourite place for swimming, but if a lake or river is frozen over, it’s best to avoid because you don’t want there to be an accident involving your dog falling through the ice.
Some breeds’ coats are ideal for the cold weather, but if you have a young dog, an older inactive dog, or a dog with a fine coat, consider getting them a coat for wintry walks to keep them warm and dry. Cindy had one towards the end because of her arthritis and she never minded wearing it.
Snowy conditions may make your dog less visible, so you can do some work in advance to make sure they do come back when you call them. This is important anyway, but even more so when it’s harder to see them in snowy conditions. You might also consider a bell for their collar.
It’s important for dogs to get exercise, but only when it’s safe for you both to do so. A missed walk because of howling winds and a snowstorm is better than either you or your dog getting injured in dangerous weather conditions when people have been advised to stay indoors.
Try to stick to roads with pavements, but if you can’t, walk with the traffic coming towards you and the dog on the side furthest from the traffic. If you know that you’ll be out and about on roads with no pavements, consider wearing something reflective – this can also apply to your dog because you can buy reflective jackets or collars.
Frozen, hard ground is harder on a dog’s joints, so try to take things more gently when you first go outside – partly because it will take longer to warm up, and partly because landing on harder ground will impact more on a dog’s joints.
Antifreeze is used a lot more in the winter months, but it is toxic to dogs. Unfortunately it smells and tastes sweet, which makes it appealing to drink or lap up from the ground.
When you’re at home
As well as making sure there is no salt on your dog’s paws when they get back inside, it’s also good to check that there is no compact snow in there either. This can freeze and become very painful. I used to trim the long hair under Cindy the retriever’s pads so that it didn’t become uncomfortable after walking on the snow.
If you’ve been out in the rain or snow, make sure your dog has somewhere warm and dry to lie and get warm again. Towel-dry your dog to get the most of the water out of their coat. Cindy used to let me use the hairdryer on her, but not all dogs will like this!
If your dog isn’t as active in the winter, you might need to alter their diet accordingly.
If you let your dog outside, some dogs may bark or scratch to come in, but others won’t – so don’t forget about them or leave them out there for a long time or they could get too cold or develop hypothermia.
Around Christmas time
We have lots of treats around at Christmas time, but some of these are dangerous for dogs.
Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is poisonous to dogs. If you really want to give your dog chocolate, you buy doggy treats instead.
Currants, raisins and sultanas are also bad for dogs, including foods that contain these ingredients such as mince pies and Christmas cake.
Apparently blue cheese is bad for dogs too – I didn’t know that.
Holly and mistletoe can also cause an upset stomach. Eating pine branches or chomping on the Christmas tree may cause stomach upset, but the real problem is that the sharp pine needles can damage a dog internally if they scratch its insides.
Whilst onions and garlic may initially cause an upset stomach, the main problem is that they can damage the red blood cells, which can lead to anaemia.
Don’t leave unattended alcohol where dogs can lap it up! Smaller dogs will have less tolerance to alcohol, and if drunk in excess, it can lead to low body temperature or even a coma.
So, there’s a list of things not to do, but a few minutes to make sure your dog doesn’t get the forbidden products is much better than the trauma of having an ill dog, especially over the Christmas season when it’s harder to get vet appointments.
Advent calendar unboxing
Throughout Blogmas I’ll be unboxing my two advent calendars from Glossybox and the Body Shop and giving a brief product review.
Body Shop – a full size bouncy sleeping mask from the Drops of Youth range. I’ve never tried this before, but it’s been on my list of things I want to splash out on. RRP is £25 and you get 90ml. Apparently, the soft, gel-like texture moulds itself like a second skin and its enriched with Edelweiss stem cells from Italy and sea holly from France. Very festive! I haven’t used it yet, but I’m looking forward to trying it. You put it on as the last step in your evening skincare routine and leave it overnight.
Glossybox – I personally can’t think of anything more annoying to work with than a loose powder eye shadow, but that’s just my personal preference and I’m not saying it’s a bad product. Still, I’ll be finding a home for this Pop Beauty eye shadow pigment!
Unseen Beauty Blogmas Giveaway
Today you have another chance to enter my Unseen Beauty Blogmas giveaway. There will be a box with 10 prizes from the Glossybox and Body Shop advent calendars, and the prizes will be revealed throughout December. You can enter once on each Blogmas 2018 page, which means you have up to 24 chances of winning. You can enter at any time from when the page goes live to the end of December 2018.
Multiple entries on the same page will not be counted – I have a spreadsheet to log them!
Your answers to the questions will help me to get to know my readers and where they are based. Also, they prove that you’re a real person as I don’t use inaccessible widgets on my site.
The giveaway is international, but if postal restrictions prevent me from sending a product to your country, I will replace it with an alternative.
The form only goes to me.
What’s in the box?
- Huda Beauty Winter solstice palate Featuring one pearlescent creamy formula and three icy pressed pearl powders.
- Spa of the World® French grapeseed body scrub from the Body Shop.
- Black eye liner pencil from the Body Shop
- An eye make-up brush from the Body Shop something will be coming later to go with that!
- Real Techniques expert face brush
- MUA Cosmic Vixen palette with 15 eye shadows.
- Karmameju konjac sponge
Products 8-10 coming soon!
Giveaway entry form
Terms and conditions
- The give-away is open until 23:59 on 31st December 2018, and I’ll draw the winner on 2nd January 2019.
- I will give each entry a number and then draw the winner by asking Siri to generate a random number. I want to make it as easy and accessible as possible for people to enter.
- Your email address is being collected solely for the purpose of contacting you if you win the prize. You are welcome to sign up to my newsletter at the same time, but this isn’t necessary to take part in the give-away. If you do not win the prize, your email address will only be stored if you have signed up to the newsletter or asked for your entry to be carried over to the next give-away.
- I will email the winner on 2nd January to ask for their address so that I can send the prize. The winner will have 7 days in which to respond. If they haven’t responded after 7 days, I will draw a new winner.
- No cash alternatives are available and the winner is responsible for checking product ingredients for any known allergens)
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