AKC News

Press Center
More Headlines

Baby It's Cold Outside: Winter Safety Tips for Your Dog

(Wednesday, February 19, 2014)

Winter is in full swing, and dog owners need to take special care to keep their four-legged friends safe and warm. With plummeting temperatures and snowfall comes a variety of dangers that can prove harmful and even fatal to your pet. From what to watch out for during walks to caring for their paws, the American Kennel Club (AKC®) offers the following tips to help keep your dog healthy and happy this winter.

  • Steer clear of de-icerssuch as rock salt when talking your dog for a walk. They can hurt your dog’s paw pads and be toxic if he licks it. Make sure to rinse and dry your pup’s paws when you get home.
  • Trim the hair between your dog’s toes. This will help ice balls from forming there. The snow and ice can cause cuts and cracked pads. Try rubbing a small amount of petroleum jelly on your dog’s paw pads before you go for a walk to help repel the snow.
  • Neverleave your dog alone in the car on cold days. The same way your car heats up in the summer, it gets extremely cold in the winter. If it’s too cold for you, then it’s too cold for your dog.
  • Avoidspilled antifreeze in driveways. It smells and tastes good to dogs, but it is actually lethal. You can also use pet-friendly antifreeze, which contains a much less toxic chemical and doesn’t taste as pleasant to animals.
  • Consider putting a sweateron your dog when you go outside if you have a hairless or smooth-coated breed.