The Met Office has issued four yellow weather warnings for snow and ice across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and a yellow and amber warning in Scotland.
During this wintry weather, it’s critical that we survey after our four-legged friends, whether that’s our cats or our dogs.
If you’re a dog owner, here are some top tips on how to support your furry friend safe and warm on wintery walks.
Here’s everything you need to know.
How frigid is too frigid to walk your dog?
A pet’s size helps to determine when it’s safe for it to play outside in the frigid. Use caution when the temperature drops below about 7C. Below 7C it’s too frigid for your dog to swim.
It’s potentially unsafe for dinky or medium-sized dogs with thin coats to be outside but large dogs with heavier coats might be an exception.
When the temperature drops to -7C and below, all dogs are at a higher risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
How to support your dog warm in frigid weather
Some dogs maintain thick furry coats all year round so, as the weather gets colder, it’s worth letting their coats grow longer to give them added protection. Some shorter-haired breeds may need more encourage staying warm and so would need to wear a coat in colder weather.
If it’s murky, it’s worth making sure your dog is visible to other owners, so adding a reflective coat with a flashing collar or light attachment could encourage.
Wearing a coat or light attachment is a modern experience for some dogs and needs to be introduced in a gradual and positive way. This will encourage your dog delightin wearing its equipment for winters to approach.
How to supervise your pets in frigid weather
Stay adjacent your dog while it is playing or otherwise outside. If you feel uncomfortable in frigid weather, chances are your dog does too.
Be aware of the possibility of hypothermia – if your dog shows signs such as shaking, lethargy, stiff muscles, low heart rate or dilated pupils, it’s critical to act quickly. Call a vet or recede them into a warmer area.