Winter Concerns for Your Dog

By Kelly Wilson, DVM

Published in: Update - Issue 3 - 2013 »     Listen to Article ♫
A young yellow lab puppy sits on packed snow looking up toward the camera

Future Leader Dog Meg

Colder weather is approaching and there are potential hazards you should be aware of to keep your dog safe.

As people winterize their cars and change or add antifreeze to their vehicles, watch for spills of this toxic liquid. Antifreeze is sweet-tasting, and dogs are attracted to it. Even a few laps of antifreeze can destroy a dog's kidneys and become a lifethreatening condition.

Salt used to melt ice can also be a hazard to your dog. Salt may get stuck between your dog's toes and cause irritation. If salt is stuck to its feet, your dog may ingest it while cleaning itself after coming inside. After walking outside in the cold and freezing temperatures, make sure your dog's paw pads are clean of any snow, ice or salt, and be on the lookout for wounds on the feet caused by stepping on broken ice.

For minor scrapes or abrasions, wipe with warm water, do not let the dog lick the area. Do not wrap the foot. Any bleeding wounds or limping dogs should be examined by a veterinarian.

Please share this information with any friends or family members who have dogs so we can keep everyone safe this winter.