Winter Safety Tips for Dogs in the Snow

How to Protect Dogs in the Cold, Snow and Ice


Gradually Acclimate to the Cold

The key is acclimation. If they seem comfortable and aren’t shivering or trying to get back inside, it should be just fine for them to stay outside for a little longer. Start with short sessions outside and slowly increase, so they have time to adjust. 

Make Potty Time More Efficient

Try shoveling a patch of grass for potty time, so they have a spot to go right away. If there are areas with more protection from snow, ice and wind, encourage them to go there instead.

Keep an Eye Out for Rock Salt & Antifreeze

Keep an eye on dogs eating snow, especially in places treated with de-icing agents. Rock salt isn’t toxic, but it may upset their stomach and it can irritate their paws. 

Antifreeze tastes sweet but is toxic. Look for blue or green colored substances on driveways, sidewalks and cars and keep dogs away from those spots. Wipe off their paws before they come inside to remove any salt or antifreeze residue they might lick off.

Learn How to Warm Them Up

If your dog seems cold, cover them with a towel or blanket. You can also use a blow dryer on a low setting, but don’t heat their paw pads, as they could burn.  If you know your dog gets cold easily, stock up in advance on sweaters, coats and booties. 

Protect Dogs Feet in the Snow

To protect your dog’s paws in winter and prevent cracked pads, try putting your dog in booties. Otherwise, clean their paws every time they come inside!

Don’t Neglect Exercise

Idle time for your dog can lead to destructive or nervous behavior due to pent-up energy. Once you’ve acclimated your dog and prepared for cold weather, continue walking your dog in winter and let them play outside.