As the days get shorter and the nights colder, it’s inevitable that winter cannot be too far away. Here are a few points to think about to help dogs cope with the cold wintry weather to come.
- Young puppies, old dogs, and small short haired dogs may benefit from wearing a coat to go out on the coldest of days. There’s plenty of choice available.
- Be especially careful with elderly dogs that have arthritis and other joint or back problems – make sure they have a really warm and comfortable bed and look out for them if conditions are icy in case they slip or fall.
- Ensure plenty of clean drinking water is available indoors, try and prevent them drinking from ponds or puddles that could be contaminated with salt or antifreeze.
- Grit and salt from roads that have been treated for ice can irritate the pads – wash your dogs’ feet after each walk.
- Be careful near frozen ponds or lakes in icy weather – don’t let your dog run onto the ice in case it gives way.
- Have your central heating boiler serviced before the winter – faulty boilers can emit Carbon monoxide which is rapidly fatal for dogs (and humans!).
Supplements for Autumn and Winter
As the weather cools there are several Diet’Dog supplements that become particularly useful and relevant for your pet. Vets always find increasing numbers of pets with stiff joints and pulled muscles as autumn progresses into winter, and respiratory problems are often aggravated at this time of year. Because the immune system is under greater challenge in cold and damp conditions, minor infections are often in evidence, especially vomiting and diarrhoea.
One or more of the following supplements will therefore be an ideal choice to add to your pet’s diet:
For the older dog who is gradually getting stiff and sore, or for any dog that had a slip or a fall and injured joints, ligaments or muscles, Senior and Mobility will be of immense help. It contains a wide range of anti inflammatory herbs, including Cat’s claw, Devil’s claw, Meadowsweet and Horsetail which all soothe stiff and sore joints, ligaments and muscles. Many of my elderly patients take this product to soothe their stiff, sore joints and promote their mobility.
This is a soothing gel to help with the pain and soreness of ligament strains, pulled muscles, bruises – and all the minor accidents that easily occur in cold weather. It contains active ingredients such as Arnica (well known for it’s ability to help with bruises), the herb Sumac (well known for aiding the body’s own anti-inflammatory process), along with essential oil of Cinnamon (well-known for its soothing properties) which aids in relieving pain plus St John’s Wort and Lavender to soothe both the physical and emotional upset of the incident.
Sore paws from contact with grit and salt from road treatment is a common winter condition. Paw Balm is a skin balm to rub into your pet’s sore, tender pads. It contains herbs and oils that soothe and rejuvenate the skin that covers and protects the pads of the feet. Used regularly it will keep your pet’s pads in best possible condition and less susceptible to damage from salt, grit and ice.
Dogs with sensitive stomachs in Autumn and Winter, or been exhausted by a long walk in inclement weather will welcome the restorative powers of Rehydration and Energy powder. It is a balanced combination of minerals, amino acids, glucose and plant extracts to replenish the body salts and give a nutrient boost to encourage hydration and promote recovery. Dissolved in water, it is palatable and rapid acting. I find it more palatable and more rapid in action than any similar product, for my own patients.
For dogs that like large amounts of exercise, and particularly for working dogs, or those taking part in agility and other high performance activities, cold weather can be an extra drain on their energy levels. Stamina and Performance is a natural energy supplement, added to the food daily, which contains nutrient dense green superfoods, and extra ingredients such as Rosemary, which acts as a revitalizer and Siberian Ginseng to help promote energy and the immune system.
Even dogs that prefer to lie in a warm cosy home rather than rush around in the cold outdoors don’t look their best in winter – coats look dull and lifeless, breath tends to more ‘doggy’ and digestive sensibilities more common. D-dog superfoods beta contains a wide range of essential vitamins, oils and minerals, and herbs such as Nettles and Alfalfa, which help your pet glow with health – especially helping achieve a healthy looking skin and coat! It contains Chlorophyll to help freshen breath and probiotics and a special clay to help balance the digestive tract. It’s a supplement that has definitely helped my own two Bedlington Terriers look even happier and healthier than ever, and one I prescribe for many of my patients.
Article Author: Richard Allport