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Winter Safety

Dogs & Cold Weather

When snow arrives in Minnesota, people aren’t the only ones who love it; dogs do too!

Whether your dog is busy bunny hopping through snow drifts, blazing a trail down snowy sidewalks, or chasing snowballs, it’s important to keep them safe in cold weather.

Before you step outside, remember the following:

  • Boots. These paw protectors are for more than cold weather; they also limit your dog’s exposure to salt and deicers. In addition to being painful on sensitive paws, these sidewalk and road treatments can be toxic to dogs.
  • Bundle up. Depending on your dog’s age, breed, overall health, and size, they could need a little help staying warm. Learn more about whether or not your dog needs a sweater before you hit the mall sweater shopping.
  • Have fun in the sun! Whenever possible, enjoy playtime with your dog when the sun is out. Not only is the temperature is warmer during these times, it will give you both a healthy dose of vitamin D.
  • Moisturize. Cold weather during the winter months can take a toll on your dog’s skin too. Massage a little coconut oil into cracked, dry paws, and talk to your veterinarian about dietary supplements to improve your dog’s skin health.
  • Pay attention to your dog. Some dogs are less tolerant of cold, and others are especially vulnerable. For example, senior dogs can have difficulty walking on ice and snow. The cold temperatures can also worsen arthritis symptoms. Watch your dog’s body language for signs of stress or discomfort when the cold weather sets in.

Remember: If it’s too cold outside for your kids to play, it’s too cold for your dog. But, they still need exercise and mental stimulation. If you can’t play outside, bring the fun indoors with some nose work games, a little hide-and-seek, or a doggy daycare “Playday” session! Or, warm up the car and take them for a ride around town.

Have fun and be safe out there!

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