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It’s cold out there…

It’s been very cold out there but luckily for me I have a nice range of warm jumpers and coats to keep me snug and warm.

Not that every dog needs a coat. Some of my friends in the park (particularly the Huskies and Alsatians) would rather be seen playing with a cat than wearing a coat but each breed is different, and short haired dogs with no undercoat (like my friend Bourbon from The Pet Shed) or dogs with little body fat, like greyhounds, can get cold quickly.

If you are unsure if your pooch needs a parka check to see if they get shivery outside or are keen to come in as soon as they go out. If they don’t get particularly cold but do have the sort of fur that likes to get wet and attract the dirt you could also consider a thinner waterproof jacket that may help save your carpet and soft furnishings after a winter walk!

Dog’s paws also need protecting in the winter as they can crack and become sore particularly when the gritters have been out with the salt. A good habit to get into is to wipe your dog’s feet after a walk and apply some soothing paw balm.

If long winter walks are the furthest thing from your mind do remember not to leave your dog out in the garden for long stretches particularly when it is below freezing. You could also try exercising in doors with your dog; set up mini obstacle courses or work on obedience training to keep boredom at bay.

Nelson was talking to Hannah James, dog translator and owner of The Pet Shed, 100 Preston Drove, BN1 6EW. Tel: 01273 554164

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