Keeping Your Dog Safe in Cold Weather

As the mercury drops, our attention to our dog’s safety must go up! Use these tips from a Colorado Springs veterinary professional to keep your pet safe in the cold winter months.

Bring Dog Indoors

Don’t leave your dog outside for extended periods of time when the temperature is this low—you’re only inviting health risks like hypothermia and frostbite. Bring your dog to the warm indoors with you and your family, where he’ll be healthiest and happiest. When you do take your pooch out for a bathroom break or play session, keep it short.

Avoid Deep Snowbanks

Even the most athletic dogs can have trouble running through deep snow, wearing themselves out completely. Avoid dangerous exhaustion by steering clear of deep snowbanks or large snowdrifts, even if your dog seems keen on playing in them.

Watch for Ice

Ice presents a slipping hazard for dogs just like it does for us—pups could hyperextend limbs or tear ligaments and muscles. What’s more, ice might have road salt or chemical de-icer products on it, which could poison your pet should he lick it off his paws later. It’s best to avoid icy patches altogether to keep you and your pet safe.

Beware of Antifreeze

When it’s extremely cold, we use antifreeze in our engines to keep them from freezing over. Unfortunately, antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, a toxic substance for dogs. Ethylene glycol is even sweet-tasting, which attracts most dogs. Clean up any spilled antifreeze immediately, and store the container far away from where your dog could reach it. Call your Colorado Springs veterinarian’s office immediately if your dog does sip some.

Use a Towel

Get a large, soft towel and use it to wipe down your dog every time he comes back indoors. Be sure to catch the paws, limbs, underbelly, and body. This will effectively remove all loose snow, ice, dangerous chemicals, and salt from the fur. Then, snuggle up with your dog by the fire to warm up!

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