Well, it seems the the UK has been plunged into Arctic temperatures and we have all been left to frantically dig out our warmest woolly hats and gloves and dress up like the Abominable Snowman just to take the dog for a walk round the block! As we wrap up to face the elements it always surprises me how my dog can go from lounging in front of the fire, to jumping into icy cold streams in the space of about 10 minutes!
Just because many dogs have this super power does not mean that post-walk care in colder climates should be overlooked. It's especially important to make sure that your dog is clean of muddy, icy water and remains healthy and snuffle free during this cold snap of weather.
What's the best way of making sure that your dog is fit and healthy?
1. Groom and inspect your dog's body regularly
Grooming comes as part and parcel of your role as a responsible dog owner. This is also an ideal opportunity to check your dog's body, by giving a mini-physical examination.
2. Take a couple of steps away from your dog and assess from afar
When looking at your dog from further away, it's much easier to see whether your dog is standing or sitting uncomfortably and whether your dog is finding it difficult to sit up or lay down.
3. Look into your dog's eyes
'The eyes are a window to the soul'. With your index thumb, gently open your dog's eyelid. A healthy eye is one in which you can see your own reflection and is clear of any fogginess or discharge.
4. Canine teeth check
Lift your dog's lip to see its teeth. Pearly whites and pink gums should greet you.
5. Study and touch your dog's nose
Don't panic if your pup's nose is not cold and wet. This does not mean your dog is ill contrary to the old wives tale. A lot of perfectly healthy dogs have warm and dry noses! The important thing is to get to know what 'normal' is for your dog and then act when your dog's 'normal' becomes abnormal.
6. Look into your dog's ears
Best performed in daylight, take a good look in your pup's ear and compare one with another. If they look the same then all is well. Perhaps you could take a photo on your phone of one ear to make it easier to compare! Your dog's ears should only smell of 'dog', but if this isn't the case, it's best to seek out professional advice.
7. Examine your dog's coat
Your dog's fur should be glossy (in breeds that don't have wiry fur) and flake-free. This is especially easy to achieve when you feed your pup with any of our Nature's Harvest range of dog foods as all our complete dog foods are crafted with essential vitamins and minerals that maintain healthy skin and coats. Make sure that you part the fur to check the skin underneath.
8. Check for lumps and bumps
Run your hand over your dog's body to check for any lumps and bumps. If you are unsure, it's always best to seek the advice of a professional.
In summary, it's all about keeping a little eye on your pup, especially around the changing of the seasons. This is when our dogs can become slightly more vulnerable.
Here's to a healthy and snuffle free few months ahead, for both you and your dog!