Ask the Vet’s Pets: Keep Your Dog Safe in Cold Weather

Your dog's fur may not be enough to protect him from the cold.


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Ask The Vet’s Pets is written by Daisy Dog and Christopher Cat, with a little help from Dr. Lee Pickett, VMD. Send questions to Daisy and Christopher at [email protected] and read more online at Dr. Pickett’s column appears in the each issue of The Saturday Evening Post. Subscribe today.


Dear Daisy Dog:  What do I need to know to keep my dog Riley safe in the cold weather?

Daisy Reponds:  Many people erroneously believe that a dog’s fur coat protects him from the cold. Unfortunately, dogs are as susceptible to the cold as humans are, so they can quickly develop hypothermia and frostbite during the winter. Puppies and elderly dogs are especially sensitive to temperature extremes, as are dogs with chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis.

When you take Riley for a walk on cold days, consider dressing him in a sweater or coat — and possibly boots. Remove snow balls from between his toes and wash any salt from his feet. If he has long hair between his toes, clip it to decrease snow ball formation. Around your home, replace rock salt with a pet-safe deicer, which is more effective than salt at low temperatures and doesn’t damage grass, concrete, carpets, or wood floors.

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