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As the days get shorter and the nights get darker, you and your pet might start to feel the chill. During these colder months it’s worth considering ways to keep your pet as warm and active as possible, paying special attention to their joints so they stay comfortable as temperatures drop.

Paws for thought

First things first, walkies! If your four-legged friend is blessed with a lot of fur, be sure to trim around their paws to prevent ice-balls forming between the pads and toes of their feet. This can be painful for pooches, so it’s best have the right tools handy before temperatures really dip.

During the winter months, it’s common for roads to be gritted or salted, be conscious of this and avoid those areas, otherwise be sure to wash the salt from your dog’s paws to avoid it irritating their footpads and to save them licking it off themselves.

Indoor fun

If your pet is less interested in going out than usual, make sure they stay active and mentally stimulated with indoor games. It might even be worth reducing their food intake so they don’t gain any extra pounds.

We recommend you walk your dog regularly and let your cat out as often as they need, but during the cooler months take extra measures to keep them warm when they return. If they get wet, give them a pat down so they dry off quicker, and be sure that they have a place of refuge to warm up after experiencing lower temperatures. This can be applied more generally too, with the option to move their bed to a warmer area of the house during the winter, and the addition of a snuggly blanket if it’s extra drafty.

All the gear

Staying active and walking your dog is so important during the winter, even if the weather is less appealing. Prepare for the darker evenings and colder nights by investing in winter staples, from flashing lights that will keep you both visible to a retractable lead so your pooch can roam but can be reined in if necessary.

Jumpers and boots are also an option for woofers, protecting them for the elements and adding serious cute factor. If your dog simply refuses to wear boots, wipe their paws down after a muddy or wet walk, removing anything harmful that has got stuck in their footpads to stop them licking them.

Supplements and diet

If your pet is on the senior side or suffers from arthritis, the winter months might be more of a concern. The colder weather can make them feel stiffer, and so ensuring they stay warm and mobile should be a priority. A joint supplement can assist, with certain diets offering support. Always seek advice from a qualified vet if you’re concerned your pet has arthritis or a more serious mobility issue.