Winter Care Tips for Your Dog

Winter has arrived, and it won’t be long before serious snow and ice is here to stay. Remember to keep your canine companion’s health and safety in mind this season! Here are a few quick winter care tips from a London, ON vet.

Indoor Time

Perhaps the easiest way to make sure your dog stays safe, warm, and happy during the winter months is to keep him indoors for most of the day. This helps your pooch avoid any danger of frostbite or hypothermia. Try to take your dog outdoors only for very brief walks, play sessions, or bathroom breaks—otherwise, he’ll be happiest indoors with you and your family.

Paw Care

When your dog does venture outdoors, be sure to keep proper paw care in mind. A dog’s paw pads can become dry and brittle during the winter months, so you might consider using a paw balm made to help moisturize the pads. When you return home after an outdoor adventure, wipe down your dog’s paws and limbs, and check the paws to make sure your dog isn’t tracking in anything unwanted. Be sure to check between the toes for bits of salt, stones or pebbles, twigs, or anything else abnormal.


When the temperatures really start to drop, your dog may be best served by wearing a few warm winter clothing pieces. This is especially true for dogs with thin, short coats of fur! Try outfitting your pup in a parka, sweater, or a moisture-wicking jacket. Booties are also helpful to keep your pooch’s paws and paw pads safe. Ask your veterinarian for more advice on what kind of clothing options might best suit your dog’s needs.

Wintertime Hazards

Aside from the cold temperatures, winter presents a few hazards to your canine companion that are important to keep in mind. Antifreeze, used in car engines to keep them running during the winter months, often contains a chemical called ethylene glycol. It’s toxic to pets, and can even attract animals with its sweet taste! Ice melt is another hazard; it’s often made with sodium chloride, or salt, which can poison animals even in small amounts. There are even winter plants that you may have in or around your home—lilies, Amaryllis, holly, mistletoe, and others—that can prove harmful to dogs! Take steps to have Fido avoid these hazards.

To learn more, contact your London, ON vet clinic today.

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