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Winter Care for Dogs

January 15, 2016

Winter in Colorado can be very pretty, but it also brings a lot of hassles, as well as some weather-related hazards. The cold season also presents some specific problems for our canine friends that pet parents should be aware of. Read on as Boulder and Louisville, CO vets  discuss caring for dogs in winter.

Paw Care

Walking on snow, salt, sand, and ice can give your dog painful burns and abrasions on his sensitive paw pads. Wipe Fido’s paws down with a damp cloth after each walk, and use paw balm or wax to keep his paws moisturized and protected. Be careful when walking your pooch on fresh snow, as it can hide dangerous objects, such as broken bottles. Booties can protect those furry feet, if your canine friend will tolerate them. It’s worth a try!


If your canine buddy is a puppy, a senior, a working dog, or just spends a lot of time outside, he burn need extra calories in winter. You may need to give Fido bigger servings in the cold months. Ask your vet for specific nutritional recommendations.


Make sure your pet has a comfy bed to snuggle up in on those cold winter nights. Don’t put your pup’s bed in a cold or drafty area.


Dogs with thin fur may need an extra layer of protection against the cold. When shopping for Fido, make sure that your furry fashionista’s clothing isn’t too snug or constricting, and avoid anything with small parts that he might try to eat.


Be very careful when walking Fido near frozen bodies of water: don’t let him run out onto thin ice! Riverbanks can also be dangerous. Antifreeze is also a concern, as it’s very toxic to dogs. Clean up any spills right away!


Regular brushing will help keep Fido’s fur free of mats and tangles, and maximize the insulating qualities of that pretty coat. Regular nail trims are also important, as overgrown claws can make it hard for dogs to walk on slippery ice.


Dogs are much happier, healthier, and safer living indoors. If Fido does spend time in the yard, make sure he has a comfy, well-insulated doghouse, and keep him inside as much as possible when it’s cold out.

Does your pooch need shots or an exam? We can help! Contact us, your local Boulder, CO veterinary hospital, anytime!