During the cold weather, there are special concerns for our pets’ health. Small dogs in particular tend to get cold, and should wear a coat or sweater. If your dog is picking up his or her feet in an unusual way when outside, this could mean that the cold pavement – or the snow- is making him uncomfortable. These dogs should be trained to wear winter booties (made just for dogs). Frostbite of the extremities, especially the ear tips, can occur just like in humans, so limit time outdoors when there are frostbite alerts. Cats, too, should not be out when there are winter weather or frostbite advisories.
Ice melt products can be very irritating to paws, and should not be ingested. Use pet-friendly products on your property, and wipe off your pet’s paws when she comes in whenever snow or ice is around. Also check your dog’s paws (mainly the fluffy, furry ones) for snow accumulations that can lead to ice balls between the pads and toes, and remove at once.
Finally – don’t let your dog eat snow! For reasons not well understood, many dogs will get diarrhea from snow ingestion. (Not poisonous, but shocks the system?)
Have a happy Winter!