Ice poses the same risks to dogs as it does to people. Slipping, breaking bones, abrasions, etc. Dogs that romp on ice are also more prone to getting cruciate ligament injuries.
Salt burn sucks! Road salt can cause irritation and burns to pets feet. We recommend using a pet-friendly version around your home. However, your pup is going to need foot protection if you walk on the roads/sidewalks. There are a couple of options as far as this goes. There is topical protection, which is usually a wax/lotion that you coat the paw pads, creating a protective barrier. The other option is a stylish pair of BOOTS! There are many options on the market. I look for something that will stay on my dog’s feet (i.e. extra ankle strap), as I have very active, large dogs. You will also want them to be waterproof.
Does my dog need a jacket? Aside from the style points, yes, some dogs do require/are more comfortable in jackets. Dogs with short hair (or no hair!) tend to get chilled easily, unlike your Shepherd, Husky, etc., who have a coat built for warmth. Geriatric dogs tend to also have a harder time with the temperature drop as they are not as spunky on walks. It is also recommended that dogs with endocrine disorders (i.e. Cushing’s, Hypothyroidism, etc.) be monitored closely outside, as they have a harder time maintaining their body temperature.
Do not leave dogs outside for an extended period of time during the winter.
A word on cats/small critters
Outdoor cats/small animals may find underneath the hood of your car to be inviting during the cold weather. A simple knock on the hood can usually scare off anything that may be camping out.
From everyone at Aurora Animal Clinic, we hope you have a safe and happy Holiday!
Written by Aurora Animal Hospital