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How to Keep Your Dog Safe in Cold Weather

Now that February has arrived, it looks like we’re still in for plenty of cold temperatures. As the winter rages on, use these tips from a Greenfield veterinarian to keep your canine companion safe and happy.

Walk in Appropriate Areas

Don’t forget that your dog still needs daily exercise, even when it’s freezing outside. Make sure you’re walking safely and smartly. Pick a road that’s relatively wide, or one that has a sidewalk. Walking with your dog on icy, narrow roads with poor visibility is a bad idea for both you and your pet. If available, you may consider walking in a forested area—your dog will love the new sights and smells, and the trees will offer some protection from the cold wind.

Avoid Ice

An overzealous dog may run over a patch of ice and sprawl headlong, potentially hyperextending a limb, tearing a ligament, or straining a muscle. Even if your dog takes his time, ice may have salt or de-icer chemicals on it, which could either be licked off the snow or gathered on the paws. These substances can be harmful if ingested, so it’s safest to avoid ice altogether.

Beware of Antifreeze

Antifreeze is composed largely of ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that is highly toxic to pets. Even worse, ethylene glycol has a sweet taste that may attract your dog. Remember to store antifreeze safely and securely, and spill up any spills immediately.

Use Dog Clothes

You have a wardrobe full of heavy coats, scarves, hats, and gloves to protect yourself from the cold temperatures and biting wind. Some dogs, especially those without thick coats, could use some insulation as well! Consider getting dog clothes for your pet—parkas, coats, boots, and even earmuffs are available on the market today.

Bring Dog Inside

The simplest rule for keeping your dog safe and happy during the cold months is to bring him inside with you and your family. There, he’ll be warm and content while spending time with his loving owners.

Talk to your Greenfield veterinary professional for more helpful cold-weather tips. With some simple awareness and precautions, your dog shouldn’t have to suffer until spring!

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