Winter Tips for Dog Owners

Winter in Milwaukee has officially arrived! As the temperature drops and snow piles up, here are some tips to keeping your dog happy and healthy when going outdoors.

  1. Limit your dogs time outside.  If you feel cold outside, your dog does too.  Dogs can get frostbite and hypothermia.  Dogs with thinner fur coats are more at risk than dogs with heavier coats, but any dog should be kept an eye on to make sure they aren’t getting too cold outside.  Try to take your dog out when the sun is shining and it is the warmest temperature.
  2. When outside, bundle your dog up.  Besides looking cute, adding the extra layer of a sweater or a jacket on your dog will help protect them against frigid temperatures.  If you put a coat on before taking your dog outside, that’s a good indicator they may need one too, especially if they have a thinner fur coat.  Even if your dog isn’t a fan of wearing the extra layer, they’ll appreciate that it keeps them warm outside!
  3. Make sure you’re using pet friendly salt.  Salts used to melt ice can be damaging for your dogs paw pads.  Double check that the salt you use on your sidewalk or driveway is pet friendly before putting it down.
  4. Clean your dogs paws.  Since there’s no way to know if the salt other people use on their sidewalks is pet friendly, it’s a good idea to wash your dogs paws with warm water when they come in from a walk.  Don’t forget in between their toes!  If their paws look dry or cracked, applying paw balm will help.
  5. Trim excess fur around toes.  This can help prevent ice from forming in between your pup’s toes.
  6. Watch out for antifreeze.  Even if consumed in a small amount, antifreeze is toxic.  Keep an eye on you dog to make sure they aren’t ingesting anything they shouldn’t.
  7. With limited exercise, stick to a strict diet!  Since winter is a less active season for dogs, watching what they eat is important.  Limiting treats and table scraps will be important to help prevent your pup from gaining some extra pounds.
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