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Winter is Ruff- A Dog's Guide to Staying Safe

Dog posing in the snow

Some people love it, some people hate it, but the reality of winter for most people means snow.Snow and freezing temperatures bring fun games outside and also new situationsto be aware of when it comes to your furry family.

Keep Their Paws in Good Shape

One of those situations is raw and cracked paws. Y'know in winter, when your hands get really dry and sometimes start to crack? That happens with your pets' paws too! Since their paws are constantly in contact with anything from a cold ground to freezing ice and snow, they receive the brunt of the weather. 

small white dog running on a snowy trail towards camera

 

There are several things you can do to save theirtender paws:

1) Buy them booties! Ever seen those funny videos of dogs wearing shoes?They're good for more than just Facebook videos. They will provideprotection against the cold and salt thatcould irritate the pads on your dog's feet.

2) Give them a warm pawbath! One of the main things that irritates paws is the salt used to de-ice the roads and sidewalks. To ensure that your doggy's (or kitty's) contactwith the ice and salt combo doesn't irritate the pads on their paws, rinse their paws after a walk or when theycome in from a potty break.Having a bowl of waterand a towelnear the door is a quick way to rinseand dry paws right when your furry fam comes back inside. (TIP: the Brushless Paw Wash does all the paw-washing for you without the hassle!)

3) Keep your fur ball indoors and warm during the cold and frigid weather. The rule of thumb is, if it's too cold for you to be outside, then it will be too cold for your doggie to be outside too! Don't be surprised if you see your furry pal all cuddled up on the floor, near the heat vent of the warmest spot in the house!

 

puppy playing in the snow

Beware that Sneaky Ice

Ice is a sneakydanger that you have to watch out for, both for yourself and your pets. One wrong step and you could land on your butt, hopefully injuring only your dignity and nothing more serious. This alsoapplies to your dogs and cats. Dogs with hip dysplasia or brittle bones are especially susceptible to injuring themselves if they slip on ice. If you can avoid the ice patches, walking around them is a good idea. If you have to step on the ice, keep yourweight directly over yourfeetat all times to minimize slipping and be aware of your dog's (or cat's!) balance as well.

PRO TIP: Snow bootiescan also help increase yourdoggo'straction on slippery ground!

 

Don't Eat the Blue (or Yellow) Snow

Another thing to be aware of during the winter months is antifreeze. Antifreeze is very handy for your car and to have around the house, but it can be deadly for your dog. Antifreeze tastes sweet (don't try it at home!), but is poisonous to both humans and animals. Make sure if you have antifreeze in your house or garage, the container is closed up tight and is out of reach ofmischievous fur babies. Antifreeze can also leak out of cars and onto the ground outside, so be aware when you're walking outsideof anypuddles of brightly colored liquids (usually blue and green). Yellow snow doesn't count, that's probably dog pee!

Need More Tips?

10 Winter Safety Tips for Dog Owners by AKC

Cold Weather Safety Tips by the ASPCA

Cold Weather Animal Safety at the AVMA

6 Winter Safety Tips for Dogs in Snow at PURINA

Keep Outdoor Cats Safe and Healthy at WebMD: PETS