Winter Pet Care : Top Tips for the Colder Month

Written by Tara Evans

Tara started her dream career in a mixed animal practice in Sussex in 2003. She qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2006 and continued to work in first opinion practice until she joined the Vita team in 2018. Her passion for the care and welfare of animals continues and couldn’t turn her back on veterinary nursing completely so continues to work regular shifts at a local first opinion practice.


January is a time of resolutions and fresh starts, and it’s even National Walk Your Dog month. But it’s also a time of darkness, cold, wet weather, and the dreaded ‘January Blues’. As we wait for the days to slowly grow longer, it’s important to stay positive and make the best of these wintry days with your pets.

The weather can affect more than just mood, however. So, what can you do to help keep your pet in tip-top condition this winter?

1. Watch out for cuts and scrapes

Grit can be harsh on paws, and after a wet, muddy walk it’s easy to miss a small cut or scrape, leaving it irritated and prone to infection. Try to check your dog’s paws after walks, especially if there’s any sign of a problem.

If you notice a shallow cut or scrape, make sure to rinse it thoroughly with plain water and gently pat it dry. Applying an antiseptic wound healing cream for pets, such as Omnimatrix, can help to soothe the area and support skin’s natural healing.

To find out more, check out our blog on wound care in dogs.

2. Stay safe on nighttime walks

With the sun still setting in mid-afternoon, walks in the dark are a necessity for many dog owners. It’s important to keep both your dog and yourself safe by keeping them on lead and picking high visibility clothing, collars and harnesses.

3.Take care of stiff joints

Just like humans, pets with stiff or sore joints can suffer more in cold weather. Our pets are usually pretty stoic and tend to hide the signs, but if you’ve noticed them slowing down, sleeping more or seeming stiff in the mornings, this could be a sign of underlying joint disease.

The good news is there are steps you can take to support them. For pets with joint disease, avoiding slippery surfaces is a must – whether that’s hard floors inside or icy pavements outdoors. Making sure they have a warm place to sleep can also help, and they’ll definitely appreciate it!

You can also support your pet’s joints with a targeted nutritional supplement such as Omnicondro, which contains market-leading concentrations of glucosamine and chondroitin to promote healthy cartilage and antioxidants to support and stabilise collagen.

For maximal joint care and full body support, why not add in Omniomega, our popular omega-3 supplement that helps to support the orthopaedic, neurological, renal and cardiovascular systems.

4. Look after winter skin

Dry skin can be another thing we share with our pets in winter. While it may be wet and unpleasant outside, the cold air can still be drying to skin, while central heating can also contribute to skin dehydration. Repeatedly getting paws wet and salty outside can cause irritation too.

While some pets cope well, pets with allergies or sensitive skin can become itchy and uncomfortable as their skin dries out or may develop sore paws in response to grit and salt.

If your pet’s skin seems drier or more irritated than normal, there are some things you can try to help. Rinsing then thoroughly drying paws after walks is vital to wash off any salt. You can also try bathing any irritated areas in a gentle oatmeal bath to soothe sore skin.

Another way to support your pet’s coat and skin is to give them the nutritional support they need to help strengthen their skin barrier, which is essential to keep moisture trapped within the skin. Omega-3s in particular have been shown to support the skin barrier.

To provide your pet with complete skin support, check out Omnicutis. This fast-acting supplement contains market-leading concentrations of Omega-3 in addition to zinc and biotin to promote healthy skin, hair and nails and support your pet’s immune system.

5. Don’t forget their ears!

It’s not just paws that get wet in winter. If your dog comes back from their walks with soggy ears, they could be at increased risk of an ear infection. Ear infections can be painful and unpleasant to treat, so prevention is always better than cure. Cleaning dirty ears with a safe, gentle, antibacterial cleaner such as Omniotic can clear wax and debris and help to reduce the risk of infection.

If you’re concerned about your pet’s health this winter, it’s always worth seeing your vet; however, by taking some simple steps at home you can help to keep your pet out of trouble and in tip-top health, ready for the brighter days to come.

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