Winter Tips

1. WRAP UP ON WALKS: your dog needs regular walks regardless of the weather but make sure they’re warm. Podengos are quite robust but they can get cold so consider getting them a coat for the colder weather.

2. CHECK FOR SNOW BETWEEN THEIR TOES: check your dog’s paws and dry them thoroughly after they've been outside. Podengos easily get snow compacting between their toes and ice balls along their legs - both of which are very uncomfortable.  

3. CHECK FOR SALT AND GRIT BETWEEN THEIR TOES: clean their paws at the end of your walk as salt and grit from roads and pavements can also get lodged between their toes.

4. KEEP THEM WARM AND DRY: dry off wet and muddy dogs after walks and make sure they have a cosy bed to return to which is away from any cold draughts.

5. KEEP THEM ACTIVE INDOORS: some dogs can be very reluctant to venture out into the cold but they still need exercise and stimulation to keep them occupied while indoors.

6. ADJUST THEIR FOOD IF NECESSARY: if a dog is less active in the winter months, make sure you adjust the amount of food you give them accordingly to avoid weight gain.

7. MAKE SURE THEY HAVE GOOD RECALL: if you let them off the lead, bear in mind that cold weather often brings reduced visibility in foggy or snowy weather conditions. And as always, make sure their microchip details are up to date with your correct contact information.

8. MAKE THEM VISIBLE: as the nights draw in earlier and the sun rises later, consider attaching a small light to your dog's collar or using a fluorescent coat so they can be seen when out on walks.

9. NEVER LEAVE YOUR DOG IN THE CAR UNATTENDED: just as cars can become fatally hot in summer months, temperatures can drop very quickly in cold weather.

10. STAY AWAY FROM FROZEN LAKES AND RIVERS: keep your dog away from stretches of frozen water as it's impossible to tell how secure the surface is. Keep them on a lead if you think they’ll be tempted to jump in.

Keep Christmas safe...

Christmas is a time for relaxing and enjoying a break from our normal routines. As long as you exercise a little common sense and remember that dog are not humans and they don't eat the same foods as us, your dog can be part of your Christmas festivities.

Far and away the best treats are pet-specific ones. If you are considering giving your dog human food, including leftovers, be aware that the following are all toxic to dogs:
  • Chocolate: even small amounts can cause serious illness.
  • Some sweets, especially sugar-free ones with Xylitol sweetener.
  • Christmas pudding and mince pies – grapes and dried vine fruits, including currants, sultanas and raisins, can cause severe kidney failure if eaten.
  • Onions (and garlic, leeks, shallots and chives) – these all belong to the allium species of plant and are poisonous to dogs whether cooked or uncooked. Avoid feeding foods that include these ingredients, such as gravy or stuffing.
  • Macadamia nuts can cause lethargy (tiredness), weakness in the back legs, increased body temperature, tremors and stiffness.
  • Alcohol has a similar effect in dogs as it does in their owners so don't be tempted to give your dog a sniff and make sure they can't help themselves to any unattended alcohol left lying around.
Most common Christmas trees are safe for dogs but be aware the oils they produce and the pines can present a risk, if swallowed or simply caught in their fur. Also be very careful about decorations and lights, including cables, especially if your dog is boisterous and/or clumsy around the house. Be wary of leaving presents around the tree that might prove tempting if the dog is unsupervised at times and be careful if you have an open fire.

And finally, don't forget that some common Christmas plants are poisonous to dogs:
  • Poinsettia
  • Holly
  • Mistletoe
  • Ivy
  • Potpourri
This infographic from The Dogs Trust is one of many they produce. Visit their website or subscribe to their Instagram feed for lots more handy tips.

You'll also find lots of advice on the Kennel Club's website:

You can also see and subscribe to their their Instagram feed for regular news, tips and advice.