Keeping Your Dog Safe in Cold Weather

As the temperatures dip and the chilly wind picks up, be sure to stay aware of your dog’s safety. Use these guidelines from your Fayette County veterinarian to keep your pooch happy and warm.

Bring Indoors

Where’s the best place to keep your dog safe and warm in cold weather? Your home! Bring your dog indoors with you and your family. You’ll be avoiding the risks of frostbite or hypothermia, not to mention contact with snow, ice, and winter chemicals like de-icers and deadly antifreeze.

Avoid Ice

Dogs can slip on ice patches just like we can, hyperextending their limbs, tearing a ligament, or over-stretching a muscle. Also, ice might have melting chemicals or road salt on it, which could stick to a pet’s paws. If your dog licks his paws later, he could ingest the chemicals, resulting in poisoning. Do your best to avoid icy patches altogether.

Avoid Deep Snow

Your dog might like playing in deep snowdrifts, but remember that all dogs—even athletic breeds—can exhaust themselves by running through thick snow. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure he doesn’t wear himself out.

Pick Appropriate Walking Areas

Dogs still need their exercise, even when it’s cold out—when you’re taking Buddy on his daily walk, pick an area that is safe and smart. Don’t walk on icy or narrow roads, or areas with low visibility to passing motorists. Walking in forested areas is often best, since the trees and shrubs offer some protection from the biting wind.

Remove Debris from Coat

When your pet comes in, take a large, soft towel and wipe down his paws, limbs, and body thoroughly. This will remove all snow, ice chips, chemicals, and road salt from the body.

Call your Fayette County vet’s office to ask about more helpful winter and cold-weather safety tips for your dog.

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