Cold Weather Care for Dogs

Winter is heading our way. We’ll be dealing with snow, ice, and cold before you know it. Hopefully, we won’t get anything as bad as last year’s polar vortex. However, it’s probably safe to say that we will be dealing with some frigid weather … and so will our furry friends. Read on as a local Shawnee, KS vet offers some advice on caring for Fido in the cold.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, and ice can all hurt Fido’s delicate paw pads. Stock up on pet-friendly de-icing agents. You can also use paw balm or wax to protect and moisturize your dog’s paws. If your pet has toe fur tufts, trim these back: they tend to collect ice balls.


Pups with thin fur will need extra protection against the cold. Make sure your furry pal’s clothes fit well, and are not itchy or hot. Avoid anything with zippers or small parts, like buttons, as well as anything that will restrict your pet’s vision or movement.


Limit Fido’s outdoor time when it’s really cold out. When walking your pooch, pay attention to the terrain. Snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass.


Did you know that dead fur and dander actually reduce the insulating properties of dogs’ fur? Every pup has slightly different grooming needs. However, they all benefit from regular brushings.


Fido probably won’t be able to run and play outside very much in winter. Keep him active indoors by playing with him daily. You can play Fetch inside. Just choose an area without a lot of breakable objects. Your canine buddy can also chase after the dot from a laser pointer. Stair runs and treadmills are also options for some pooches. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Fido may very well spend a chunk of winter curled up in his doggy bed. Wash his bedding every week or two. This will help remove fur, battle stinky-dog odors, and fight fleas. Use unscented detergent and the hot cycles on your washer and dryer. If your furry friend’s bed can’t be washed in the washing machine, vacuum it instead. Running a hot iron over it will help kill fleas and their eggs. You can also try putting a washable slipcover on it.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Call us, your Shawnee, KS vet clinic, today!

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