Ask the Dogtor: 5 Tips for Dealing with Frigid Weather

Written by: Dr. Bo Bergmann, DVM

The Dogtor’s pal, Nash, loves the snow!
Photo by Bo Bergmann

Brrrrrrr. . .Vermont and many parts of the U.S. continue to deal with cold temperatures. We woke up with -10 degrees Fahrenheit this morning. (Add a wind chill and it gets even colder!)

Every dog has a different cold tolerance, based on their fur, age, and medical conditions. Most dogs will tell you that they’re cold, but I know plenty who are more worried about chasing the tennis ball or pleasing their owners and may end up with paw injuries or frostbite if they’re outside too long.

Here are 5 things to keep in mind for when the mercury dips below zero:

  1. Take shorter but more frequent walks.
  2. Try a dog coat or sweater. I know some dogs who even like to wear them inside.
  3. Properly-fit booties will help protect your dog’s feet (and help with traction on ice).
  4. Keep your dog’s toenails trimmed. I’ve recently seen numerous broken nails due to the hard, icy ground.
  5. Wipe your dog’s feet after coming inside to remove road salt, ice, or snow balls stuck between the toes.

Do you have other tips for keeping your dog happy in the cold weather?

Dr. Bo Bergman, DVM, is a graduate of NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine and works at West Mountain Animal Hospital in Vermont.

One thought on “Ask the Dogtor: 5 Tips for Dealing with Frigid Weather

  1. Shelby

    I will shovel out pathways for my dogs when we have large amounts of snow, makes it easier for them to get around and keeps them warmer because they don’t have to walk up to their bellies in snow.


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