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Winter Dangers for Dogs

February 1, 2016

Winters here in Ontario are no joke! While the cold season is beautiful, and is great for those who love winter sports like skiing and snowmobiling, it does bring some specific dangers for our canine friends. In order to keep your dog comfy and safe in winter, you’ll need to take a few simple precautions. A Niagara Falls, ON vet lists some winter dangers for dogs in this article.

Protecting Fido’s Paws

Walking on salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can give Fido painful burns on his delicate paw pads. Doggy boots are a great way to protect those cute paws, but many pups aren’t crazy about wearing shoes. If Fido won’t go for wearing footwear, use paw balm or wax to protect his furry feet, and wipe his paws down daily with a damp cloth. Don’t forget those nail trims, either: overgrown nails can make it very difficult for your four-legged pal to gain traction on slippery surfaces.


Fido’s fur coat won’t keep him from getting chilly when the temperature drops. Unless your canine buddy has thick fur, he will probably need some doggy clothes to protect him from severe cold. When shopping for your furry friend, avoid anything tight or constricting, as well as anything that could choke or entangle him, like buttons or dangling threads.


Be very careful when walking your canine pal near frozen lakes or ponds, or near riverbanks. You don’t want to take any chances with your beloved pet falling into freezing water! Keep Fido on solid ground.


Some dogs may need to eat more in cold weather. If Fido is a working dog, a puppy or a nursing mama, has a thin coat, or just spends a lot of time outside, he may need bigger portion sizes in winter, as he’ll burn extra calories simply staying warm. Ask your vet for nutritional advice, including supplements.


Never leave your canine pal out in the cold for long periods. If Fido spends a lot of time outdoors, make sure he has a comfy doghouse that is well-insulated. Senior dogs, puppies, and dogs with weak immune systems are particularly susceptible to cold, so be extra careful if your pooch falls into one of those categories.

Does your pooch need shots or an exam? Call us! As your Niagara Falls, ON vet clinic, we are here to help!