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Cold Weather Dog Care

November 1, 2022
Winter is coming up fast! While some of our canine pals love the snow and cold, others definitely prefer warmer weather. Regardless of which camp your furry friend falls into, you’ll need to take some extra precautions to keep Fido safe in the cold. A local Columbia, MD vet discusses cold weather care for dogs in this article.


You’ll probably be walking your four-legged pal after dark quite often over the next few months. Both you and Fido should be wearing reflective gear that drivers can spot. Pay close attention to where you and your pup are stepping, especially after it’s snowed. Fresh snow can hide all sorts of hazards, such as broken glass, litter, wires, and even holes.


Winter can be hard on our skin, and it’s also pretty rough on Fido’s paws. Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all do a number on those furry feet! Chemical deicers are also quite harsh. Plus, your canine companion can ingest these just by licking his feet. We recommend using paw balm or wax to protect and moisturize your dog’s paws. If your pooch has toe fur tufts, keep these trimmed back: they can gather ice balls.


Many dogs don’t get as much activity in winter as they do in summer. Keep Fido active through indoor play. You can play Fetch indoors, as long as you have enough room. Stair runs are also a good option for some pups. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Dogs with thin coats will need sweaters or jackets on frigid days. Make sure that Fido’s things fit him securely, and are not tight, hot, itchy, or restricting.


Be cautious of toxins, such as antifreeze, rodenticides, and chemical de-icers. Around the holidays, you’ll also need to be careful with plants. Many popular holiday plants, such as holly, ivy, poinsettias, and mistletoe, are toxic to our canine buddies! Ask your vet for more information.


Older dogs need a little more TLC here. Fido will be more sensitive to weather extremes than a younger pooch would, and he will get cold more easily. Cold weather can also make your furry buddy quite stiff and sore. Supplements may help with this. If your pooch seems extremely stiff, contact your vet. Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your local Columbia, MD animal clinic, today!

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