4 Ways to Help Your Furry Friend Soldier Through Winter Weather
Winter survival tips for dog people
The pet welfare experts at the Ontario SPCA share their top four tips for winter pet safety!
#1 Keep your dogs warm
It may seem like common sense, but if you feel it’s too cold for you, chances are it’s too cold for your dog! Although some breeds can withstand colder temperatures (think Northern breeds), most dogs are accustomed to indoor temperatures and don’t want to be outside for long periods of time. Dogs with less furry coats, smaller dogs, and those closer to the ground could benefit from a winter jacket.
When your dogs are inside, give them a comfy place to sleep that’s elevated and away from any drafts. This is especially important if your dogs are really young, really old (super seniors!) or unwell. Many dogs love to burrow, making the addition of a cozy blanket much appreciated.
#2 Pet Grooming
Wipe your dog’s paws—both the underside and between the pads—after they’ve been outside. This is important because salt and chemical ice melters can irritate and burn your dog’s paws. These substances can also be fatal if ingested! But don’t think paw cleaning means more baths. Too much bathing, especially during the dry, cold winter season, can dry out your dog’s skin and create irritation and itchiness.
#3 Beware the H2O
Puddles pose a danger to dogs because they may contain ethylene glycol, found in antifreeze, which can be fatal if ingested. So no drinking from winter puddles! Larger bodies of water are also good to steer clear of. Melting or thin ice, as well as rising water levels can create a dangerous environment for your dog.
#4 Be Prepared for Extreme Winter Weather and Super Storms
Climate change has resulted in extreme and unpredictable weather conditions. You never know when a storm might hit and keep you from leaving your house. An emergency pet survival kit can save your pet’s life in these circumstances. Find tips on creating one at ontariospca.ca/ep.
Pro Tip: Protect animals in your area by using salt-free, non-toxic, environmentally friendly de-icers like Safe Paw Ice Melter (safepaw.com). And make sure you have no dangerous-to-pets antifreeze leaks or spills!