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Vet issues warning over putting boots on dogs in cold weather as temperatures drop below zero

Vet issues warning over putting boots on dogs in cold weather as temperatures drop below zero

Dog owners, listen up!

We're all definitely feeling the cold at the moment and it's no doubt that our little four-legged friends will also be feeling the chilly blast sweeping across the UK right now.

The weather is getting so dire that Dr Anna Foreman, Everypaw Pet Insurance’s in-house vet, has now issued a major warning over putting boots on dogs in cold weather as temperatures drop below zero.

Explaining a little more about the consequences of putting pooches in boots, Anna shared her thoughts on how to keep dogs safe when going for walkies in wintery weather.

She began by telling pet owners: "As long as owners wash and dry their dog’s paws thoroughly after a walk, there is no real need for outdoor boots.

"These boots are prone to causing a dog distress (dogs are not used to wearing shoes like we are), are easily lost, and are unnecessary in most cases."

Anna also pointed out that dogs' feet have 'shoes already' on them in the form of their pads.

"These hard, leathery 'soles' prevent injury to the softer skin surrounding and delicate structures underneath," she continued. "They can be cut or penetrated with sharp objects, and so if a dog becomes suddenly lame, their pads should be checked thoroughly as well as the rest of their leg.

"If a dog is slipping in the wet, ice or snow, their pads are becoming chapped and sore, or the skin of their feet (or the dogs themselves!) are not tolerating being washed, boots can be considered."

And as for raincoats?

The vet warned that putting boots on your dog can cause 'distress'.
SusanGaryPhotography / Getty Images

Well, the vet admits that raincoats are appropriate for dogs who do not have an 'innately waterproof coat'.

"The easiest way to find out is by exposing your dog to the rain (or a shower at home!) and then feeling under their fur to the skin underneath," she suggested.

"If their deeper fur and skin is dry and warm, their outer hair coat is keeping them dry. If the deeper fur and skin is wet or cold then this means an external waterproof coat may be more appropriate to keep them dry."

So, what can dog owners do to keep their furry friends safe on walks?

There are things you can do to make walkies safer in cold weather, though.

Firstly, you need to make sure your dog is not too cold or too hot while walking.

Some dogs have innately warm and waterproof coats, and so excessive layers can cause them to become uncomfortable and overheat.

If you haven't already, it may be a good idea to invest in a high visibility collar, harness, lead, accessory, or coat to make your dog much more visible in the dark weather which will make you less likely to lose them.

It's also worth washing your dog's feet once returning home from the walk as well as thoroughly drying in between their digits.

And, lastly, you should steer completely clear of frozen water altogether.

Featured Image Credit: SusanGaryPhotography/Annaartday/Getty Images

Topics: UK News, News, Weather, Life, Animals, Dog