Winter Care for Dogs

Love it or hate it, winter’s official start date is just a few weeks off. Our canine friends often enjoy romping around in the snow. However, your furry buddy may need some extra care in cold weather. Here, a Lakeville, MN vet discusses caring for Fido in winter.

Paw Care

Snow, salt, ice, sand, and chemical deicers can all hurt dogs’ sensitive paw pads. Consider buying or making Fido little booties to wear. Of course, not all pooches will go for this. If your pup doesn’t like wearing shoes, use paw balm or paw wax to protect his furry feet, and wipe his paws down with a damp cloth daily. Remember to keep your four-legged pal’s claws trimmed: long nails can make it harder for dogs to get traction on slippery ice. We also recommend choosing pet-safe deicing products.


Did you know that dust, dead fur, and dander can all impact the insulating properties of Fido’s coat, making it harder for him to stay warm? Regular brushings will not only keep your canine pal looking adorable, they’ll also keep him more comfortable.


Some dogs need an extra layer of protection against the cold. If your pup has thin fur, consider getting him some doggy clothes. Just be sure to avoid anything that is tight or itchy. You’ll also want to stay away from anything with zippers, dangling threads, and/or small parts, like buttons, which Fido could eat.

Veterinary Care

Proper veterinary care is always important. However, cold weather can exacerbate many health issues, especially bone and joint problems, like arthritis. Ask your vet to recommend an appointment schedule.


When walking Fido in winter, stay away from frozen bodies of water. Also, be careful when walking your dog in fresh snow: the snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass, that could injure your pet.


Some pooches may need to eat a bit more in cold weather. Senior dogs and pets with mobility issues may also benefit from certain supplements, like fish oil. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.


Just like people, dogs really enjoy having comfy beds to snuggle up in on cold nights. Make sure Fido’s bedding isn’t in a chilly or drafty area, and keep it clean by washing it regularly.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? Contact us, your Lakeville, MN animal hospital, anytime!