Cold Weather Safety Tips For Dogs

Throughout all the seasons, our dogs need love, support, protection, and care and, in the winter, when the weather is cold, they need extra help to stay warm.  What is a normal activity in the warmer months, can be devastating to your pet during the winter. Some of the dangers associated with dogs during winter range from ingesting anti-freeze to hypothermia that can lead to sickness and even death.  Here are a few tips that will keep your dog safe, warm and comfortable this winter.

Keep Your Pup Warm 

The first most important step to keeping your dog safe in winter is, of course, keeping them warm.  During winter, dogs are at risk of hypothermia and frostbite. Keep them warm by leaving them home rather than taking them out and leaving them in a car.  Your car acts as a refrigerator during winter and you don’t want your dog exposed to this cold that could get them sick. 

You’re still going to want to walk your dog during the winter but when it’s especially cold out, keep younger, older, and sick pets indoors.  If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for them too. Cute coats and dog boots are to help healthy, adult dogs stay warm in winter. You may want to invest in a cute dog coat or sweater to outfit your dog when you take them on a walk.  

On your walks, make sure your dog wears something reflective.  Because it gets darker earlier in winter, reflective gear will help your dog stay seen during your walk.  This might include wearing a reflector in their clothing, a reflecting leash, or a reflecting collar. You want to make sure your pets can be seen while walking on the street, protected from passing cars.  Avoid ice on your walks as well. Frozen lakes and ponds are dangerous because if the ice breaks, your pet could accidentally fall in.  

Protect Your Dog From Dangerous Situations

More pets become lost during the winter because snowfalls can disguise recognizable scents that normally help them find their way home.  Prevent your dogs from becoming lost by keeping them leashed on walks and just in case, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information.  

When you finish your walk, wipe your dog’s paws.  Your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals like rock salt, antifreeze, and de-icers.  Wipe off their paws when you return home to prevent them from licking their paws and becoming sick. Also, purchase pet-safe de-icers for your home.  It goes without saying that your dog may or may not eat these de-icers so it’s best to have a pet-safe one.  

Remember to check your dog’s paws for bleeding and cracks.  This is a sign that they are damaging their paws while out walking and you’ll want to know why and if you need to take a break for a day or so until their paws heal.  Avoid spills of antifreeze as antifreeze attracts dogs and cats because it is very sweet to taste. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous and if a dog ingests it, this can lead to serious illness and even death.  

Blizzards can sometimes bring extreme cold that can cause power outages.  Make sure to have an emergency plan that includes your pets. Have an emergency kit with enough food, water, and medication to last your pets at least five days.  By thinking ahead, you are more likely to keep your pet safe.  While wintertime can be fun with snowfall walks, we want you to keep these safety tips in mind to protect your beloved pet.  Call Cherrelyn Animal Hospital at (303) 532-1258 with any of your pet health needs.