Keeping Your Dog Safe in the Cold

by | Jan 8, 2014 | Uncategorized

We’ve all been listening to the media go on about the Polar Vortex that is chilling North America currently and the chaos it’s creating for people. And while we all know to bundle up, salt our sidewalks and limit driving on icy roads, did you know there are tips you can utilize to keep your dog safe in the cold? Keep reading to find out more below.

This is why Toronto is so cold right now.

This is why Toronto is so cold right now.

1. Keep your dog with you

It’s easy to just put your dog in your backyard and let him roam around to his heart’s content, or send him off with the dog walker, but when temperatures are reaching -40 C, frostbite can affect Fido too. Yes, it may mean that you have to play with him a bit more inside, but that’s much better than an emergency trip to the vet.  Heated shelter for all dogs, even ones with thick fur, like Huskies, is a must in this weather.

2.  If you are taking your dog outside, make sure they are properly outfitted for the cold

Nothing makes me laugh more than a little dog in a coat, but some dogs are just not equipped to handle low temperatures. If your dog has limited amounts of fur, or is fairly small, invest in a nice, warm, but functional coat. Not all dogs will tolerate clothes, so if your fits into this category, you must be incredibly careful when you take her outside. If you’re looking for a great doggy coat, check out Chilly Dogs, a company based in Ottawa that is making 100% Canadian products.

Dog coat

Chilly Dogs is a Canadian company making coats for dogs that are great for Canadian winters.

3. Remember to look after your dog’s feet

Yes, most dogs are tough and their paws are made to withstand the cold. However, the weather isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to paw safety. Salt is used in cold weather countries to prevent slipping and sliding on sidewalks and driveways, but it can get caught in your dog’s feet. Additionally, the salt can potentially be poisonous if your dog licks his feet after coming in from outside. I hate to say it, but you might want to consider a pair of booties for your pup. At the very least, make sure to wipe your pooch’s feet with a towel when you come in. You might even want to dip them in warm water before wiping them to remove salt and ice.

Cute look or necessary indulgence?

Cute look or necessary safety precaution?

4. Try not to let your dog eat snow

Yes, the white fluffy stuff is tempting (it’s novel and looks delicious to a thirsty dog), but there are hidden dangerous in the magical powder. Safety salt (see above), antifreeze and de-icing chemicals can all be found, and ingested, by your pup. Not only are these dangerous for a dog’s digestive system, but they are cancer-causing agents as well.

5. Keep your dog hydrated

Fresh water is an important part of keeping your dog healthy all year round, but it can often be forgotten when it’s cold outside. Thirst is a contributing factor to hypothermia and a well hydrated pet won’t be as tempted to eat snow. Just make sure to not use a metal bowl outside for water — those stories about getting your tongue stuck to a cold, metal pole are true for dogs too!

If you follow the above steps, keeping your dog safe in the cold is easy. The snow can be fun and full of exercise for both you and your dog, provided everyone is happy and warm!

How much do we love our best friends?

How much do we love our best friends?