Wisdom in Winter

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness

The cold crisp in the air, is the sign Autumn is replaced by winter. This means there are new hazards to keep your whippet safe this festive season. 

Antifreeze can be extremely dangerous to dogs. It can damage their kidneys and cause death, even after only a small amount has been licked. It smells and tastes sweet, so may be irresistible to some dogs. Dogs will most often come across it after it’s leaked from a car radiator, or been spilt after refilling screen wash. If you notice any liquids by your car, keep your dog away and clean it up immediately. If they’ve walked through any, then wash their paws with soap and water straight away. If you think your dog has licked, drank or been in contact with antifreeze, contact your vet immediately. The quicker your dog is treated the better.


Very low temperatures and cold winds can quickly reduce your dog’s body temperature- especially for short furred dogs like whippets, causing frostbite and/or hypothermia. Most dogs will be fine outside as they are, but if it’s very cold, or if you’re spending a bit longer outdoors, then you might want to consider getting a coat for them and some protection for their paws. Every dog is different, but some dogs may be more at risk from cold weather, particularly small, slim, very young or older dogs, or those with short hair. If you do buy a coat make sure it fits well so that it doesn’t prevent them moving normally, either through being too tight or too loose. If you’re outside in the cold and your pet starts shivering, or appears very tired, then get them home as soon as possible. If they are very unwell, get worse or continue to be unwell, contact your vet immediately.


Road Grit & Salt

Winter brings ice, snow and rain and can cause surfaces to become slippery for both you and your dog, so take extra care! Recently gritted surfaces can be harmful to dogs too. Grit can get stuck in the paws, causing soreness, redness or cracking and may contain salt or other chemicals that can cause further irritation. If licked in large enough amounts, the salt found in road grit can be harmful to your dog, so make sure to wipe your dog’s paws after walks in gritted areas. You may also want to consider using protective booties for your dog. If you suspect your dog may have eaten rock salt, contact your vet immediately.

Weight Gain

In winter months we are often less active because of the cold wet weather and darker evenings. Getting less exercise means that it’s much easier for your dog to put on weight, so it’s important to keep an eye on their weight and size. During the winter you may need to reduce their food portions to prevent them piling on the pounds. Make sure you keep your dog healthy by taking them for regular walks and stay prepared with warmer winter accessories if required. If you’re unable to go out, keep your dog active and entertained by playing indoor games with them.


Winter Plants


The plant is considered to be of low toxicity, but ingestion of holly berries may result in a stomach upset.



Ingestion of European mistletoe berries may result in an upset stomach. The American species of the plant is far more dangerous.


The ivy that tends to be used in wreaths and decorations is Hedera helix (not Toxicodendron radicans, the American poison ivy). But the Hedera species can still cause a tummy upset when ingested. Where there is significant or prolonged skin contact, Hedera species can also cause both irritant and allergic contact dermatitis.

Hopefully this advise has helped to keep your whippet safe this winter time. 


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Demand for Puppies!

Dog breeders and the Kennel Club are seeing a high rise in demands for puppies. Whippet puppies alone are going over 200% their normal price. 

Remember there is a difference from a puppy to fully-grown dog. Do your research e.g. the behaviour of the breed and the breeder you are getting the puppy from make sure you see the mother and if you don't think it seems right don't purchase the puppy. 

Also think of your circumstances, they might be free at the moment to care for the puppy, but will they be in a couple of months or a years time? 

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All dog owners should be aware of the laws that govern dog ownership. Kennel Club Guide to UK Dog Law


How Crucial Was Your Dog to Your Happiness During Lockdown?

Lockdown was a difficult time for all of us, the uncertain times we still live through too. 

According to a new study, 8 in 10 dog owners said their pet was extremely important to their mental wellbeing during the UK’s lockdown and believe their dogs were largely happy, some did admit that their dog wasn’t his usual self as a result of being indoors for longer periods of time with the whole family.

Just remember if you are still isolating, keep to a route for your dog mental health as well as your's. It could be a good excuse to spend more time with your dog, perhaps learn a new trick. 

Just remember to keep in mind of your dog's well being.