Safety Tips For Dogs In The Winter

Snow has been falling in many parts of the country for weeks now, but December 21 is the “official” start to winter. Along with winter comes snow, ice, frigid temperatures and dangerous conditions for dogs.winter dog safety tips

Whether you have a small dog or a dog who loves to be out of doors, no matter the weather there are safety measures that you should take to keep them safe, happy and healthy all winter long. We understand there are those large breed dogs who are simply built for the winter months — Huskies, Malamutes, Newfoundlands and others.

Even if your large breed dog loves to be out-of-doors, you need to make certain he has shelter from the wind and snow. Your dog needs access to water that is not frozen and if he loves to play outdoors in the snow you may need to feed him a bit more because the cold burns more calories.

Safety Tips For Dogs In The Winter

Whether you’re traveling with your dogs for the holidays or if you’re staying home watching the snow and rain fall around you, here are our favorite safety tips.

  1. If you have a short-haired dog or one who is intolerant of the cold, put a sweater on her. Some dogs won’t wear clothing, but if yours will, a sweater is a nice layer of warmth for an old or short-haired pup.
  2. Put paw wax on your dog before you go out for a walk. This paw wax, made by many companies, will allow you to walk your dog while his paws are protected from the snow, ice and rock salt used to clear snow off steps and roadways. This is easy to quickly rub on and your dog won’t notice it — unlike if you try to get him to wear dog boots.
  3. Limit his outdoor time. Yes, there are those breeds who thrive in the cold, but even those breeds should be provided a shelter from the cold, rain, snow and bitter winds. Check on your dog frequently to see if he is enjoying his outdoor time or if he is ready to come in. If your dog is shivering, he is ready to come in even if he fights your better judgement.
  4. Your dog needs access to fresh, not frozen, water when he is enjoying the out of doors. Make sure he has a bowl that will not freeze.
  5. As in the summer, never leave your dog alone in a cold car. This is especially true if it’s bitterly cold. The temperature inside the car will drop dramatically and your dog could suffer hypothermia.
  6. Shorten your walks with your dog if it’s bitterly cold. If it’s too cold for you, chances are it’s too cold for him. Pay attention to your dog’s body language. Chances are you know her well enough to know whether she’s enjoying the walk or if she’s ready to go indoors.
  7. Remove any snow balls or rock salt that may have gotten between your pup’s paw pads. Don’t let him lick his paws to remove the salt. Wipe them with a warm, damp cloth.

Other winter safety hazards include:

  1. Don’t start your car without making some loud noises to scare off any feral cats who may have crawled up and under the car to keep warm.
  2. Keep antifreeze out of the reach of your dogs. It has a sweet flavor and your dog may lick it and get ill.
  3. If you use rock salt on your stairs, make sure you use rock salt that is pet-friendly.

Have a safe, happy and healthy winter!

About FIDO

There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.


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