Winter Hazards for Dogs

Winters in Michigan are not exactly known for being mild. Along with the relentless cold and the seemingly endless snow and ice, wintertime brings some specific hazards for our canine friends. As a responsible pet parent, you’ll want to take steps to keep your furry buddy safe from seasonal dangers. A Torch Lake, MI vet lists some winter hazards for dogs in this article.

Cold Feet

Walking on snow, ice, salt, sand, and chemical de-icing agents can cause painful burns and abrasions on your pet’s furry feet. If your pooch doesn’t care for wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect his delicate paw pads, and wipe down his paws after each walk. Remember to keep Fido’s nails and toe fur tufts trimmed, so he can get good traction on icy surfaces.

Winter Wear

Unless your pooch has really thick fur, he’ll likely need some extra protection from the cold. Get Fido a doggy sweater to keep him warm on frigid days. Just be sure not to put your furry pal in anything that is too snug, or has buttons or other pieces he could possibly try to eat.


Antifreeze is extremely toxic to our four-legged friends. Unfortunately, many animals like the taste of it. Cover spills and damp stains with sand or kitty litter.


Don’t walk your canine pal near the edges of frozen bodies of water. You don’t want Fido running out onto thin ice!


Those freezing winter temperatures are not something to take lightly. Keep Fido indoors as much as possible when it’s cold outside, and make sure he has a warm, comfy bed to snuggle up in when the temperature drops. If your pooch does spend time in the yard, make sure he has a good, well-insulated doghouse. You’ll also want to avoid leaving your pet in unheated cars. Senior dogs, puppies, and dogs that are nursing or have weakened immune systems are particularly at risk from the cold.


Be very careful with where you walk Fido, especially right after a snowfall. Snow can hide sharp objects, such as broken glass, that can hurt your furry pal. Stick to familiar ground, and try to avoid unplowed areas.

Does your dog need shots or an exam? Please contact us, your Torch Lake MI veterinary clinic, today. We are here to serve all of your pet’s veterinary care needs.

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