Dog in Snow

Keeping Your Pet safe in the Cold

| December 10, 2021

Your pet’s sensitivity to the cold depends on everything from their breed to their coat, to their general health. It also comes down to temperament. Many pets love the cold weather, while others are only interested in the quick bathroom breaks.

The best way to gauge your pet’s comfort in the cold is to spend time with them outside. Look for signs of discomfort, such as shivering, running towards and standing by the door, wanting to be held, or losing interest in things they normally get excited about outside.

Here are some further tips to help keep your pet safe and sound during the cold months ahead:

Make paw cleaning a habit

Gently wash and wipe down your pet’s paws with a towel after their walk. This will remove irritants such as snow and ice, and any harmful chemicals, such as ice salt from between their paw pads. Check for chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin as well.

To clean your pet’s paws, soak a hand towel or cloth in warm (not hot) water, wring it out so it’s damp, and use it to gently wipe down their paws. This will melt away snow and ice and remove any salt buildup. Once you’re finished, dry off their paw with another towel.

Consider paw protectors

There is a wide range of paw protectors on the market designed to protect your dog’s paws from the cold and salt. The most effective are balloon-type booties – these stay on better and do not seem to bother dogs too much.

It is important to note all pets are different. Some do not mind protective footwear, while others don’t even want their paws touched. If you and your pet need help adjusting to protective footwear, consider contacting one of our certified trainers.

Humidify your home

Exposure to the season’s dry, cold air can cause chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. Try to keep your home humid as best you can. Humidifiers are a good option.

Save shorter haircuts for summer

A little extra hair will provide your pet with that much needed warmth. For the long-haired dogs, a quick trim will help with the clinging snow chunks and salt crystals. For those less shaggy short-haired pups, a nice coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck will help them stay snug on those chilly walks.

Skip bath time

Take a break from regular bath time during the cold spells. Washing too often can remove those essential oils that are so good for your dog’s skin. Without it, they can develop dry, flaky skin. For when bath time is an absolute necessity, try finding a special moisturizing shampoo that will retain your dog’s essential oils.