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A Few Tips to Keep Your Dogs Safe in Winter

Cold weather and shorter daylight hours call for extra vigilance and special care.
By Chloe Conrad, December 2019, Updated January 2022
winter care - dog tips

Winter is officially here and most of the country is dealing with harsh and cold winter weather. The cold weather and shorter daylight hours make dog walks and exercising extra challenging. If you live with companion animals, winter time comes with a few cautions. Read up on some quick dog winter safety reminders.

Dry them off. After a snowy walk or romp in the yard, wipe down your dog’s paws and stomach and check paw pads for cuts or abrasions. Ingested rock salt, antifreeze and other chemicals are dangerous for dogs, and spikey snow and ice can cut.

Keep them warm. Make sure your dog has a draft-free place to sleep, with a nice cozy bed or thick blanket to soften the snooze.

Keep them close. Don’t let dogs off-leash during a snowstorm;  they can lose the scent and easily become lost. Make sure they’re wearing a collar and up-to-date tags, too.

Light their way. Greater visibility saves lives. Attach lights to collars, harnesses and leashes; invest in a reflective vest, especially if your dog has a thick coat; and be sure to wear reflective clothing yourself

Chloe Conrad is a freelance writer and editor in the San Francisco Bay Area.