Dog Coats As The Winter Approaches!
According to a survey by Direct Line (2017), a third of UK vets believe dressing dogs can promote skin conditions.
In my study with the College of Integrated Veterinary Therapies, I learned that many atopic reactions are diet related.
Dogs fed on a high-glycemic kibble based diet are prone to pro-inflammatory reactions to ingredients, including wheat, rice, barley and gluten.
In addition, the processing technique to make kibble, called screw extrusion, changes foods’ molecular structure, which can lead to confusing the immune system, and creating inflammatory response, like skin allergies.
I’ve always fed an anti-inflammatory raw food diet like Natural Instinct that nourishes the skin deep at a cellular level.
Packed full of natural functional ingredients it supports the immune system and helps balance any negative reactions caused by a variety of environmental stressors like processed foods, medication, pollution, insecticides and pesticides.
It was over 15 years ago when Molly, my first Miniature Bull Terrier, made me realise just how essential a dog’s coat is especially for London life.
Neither Prudence nor Mr Binks are fans of going for walks in the rain and cold, but that’s not really a long-term option.
I like to optimise the dog-friendly trends in London. We travel on public transport and go to frequent cafés, restaurants and spaces that welcome dogs.
No one likes that distinctive ‘wet dog’ aroma wafting in your car, on the train, bus, home or office.
Matchy Matchy!drying your dog off quickly post walk or preventing your dog from getting soaked in the first place proves useful with 21% of us taking our dogs to work (Direct Line)!
Dog coats must be a comfortable fit without restricting a dog’s movement in any way. I opt for a stretchable soft fleece or natural fibre coats and jumpers.
Some synthetic fibres might contain chemicals that could irritate a dog’s skin, just as some washing powders can promote irritations in some people and dogs.
Not all breeds are suited to a doggy wardrobe. Miniature Bull Terrier’s are perfectly suited being single coated like Pugs, Bostons, Frenchies, Bulldogs and Dachsies who all similarly feel the cold on a brisk winter’s day.
Naturally slim breeds like Whippets, Greyhounds, Italian Greyhounds and Miniature Pinschers are also prime candidates benefitting from an extra layer in winter.
On the other hand, dogs with thick or wiry coats like St Bernard’s, Huskies, Hungarian Pulis and Tibetan Terriers will feel the cold much less, and not require a jacket.
With the days drawing in, its morally mandatory to be safe and seen on dark winter evenings and mornings.
A high viz coat offers much more visibility than a collar or flashing tag.
I’m not a fan of dry overly central heated environments that become stifling, especially for dogs. Potentially promoting dry, itchy skin, and a dull lack lustre coat, keeping dogs in a 20 degrees indoors causes excessive moulting.
Despite living in a draft Victorian flat, I like to leave our central heating off when the dogs are home alone. With plenty of cosy bedding to snuggle into, Prudence and Mr Binks often wear a natural wool sweater to shield them from any chilly drafts.
With older dogs any arthritic symptoms can be exacerbated by the cold and wet. It’s arguably much kinder to protect them from the elements with an extra layer.