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Winter Dog Care Tips

January 15 2019

Winter is officially here! Whether you like the cold or not, we have a few months of it to go. This time of year can be hard on dogs. Though your canine pal has a fur coat on, he’s still vulnerable to cold and snow. Read on as a McHenry, IL vet discusses caring for Fido in winter.


Some dogs may need to eat a bit more in cold weather. If Fido spends a lot of time outdoors, he’ll burn more calories than he will in summer, just keeping warm. Ask your vet for more information. Supplements may also be beneficial to some pups.


Dogs with thin fur often get cold quite easily. You may need to get Fido a doggy jacket. When shopping for your pup, take his measurements with you. Avoid anything that is tight, hot, or itchy, as well as items that restrict your dog’s vision or movement. Also, stay away from anything with small parts, like buttons, that your pooch may try to eat.


We can’t state enough how important it is to limit dogs’ outdoor time when it’s really cold out. Keep Fido warm and comfy indoors!

Paw Care

Snow, salt, sand, ice, and chemical de-icing agents can really do a number on your pet’s feet! Stock up on pet-safe de-icing agents. We also recommend keeping Fido’s nails trimmed. If he has toe-fur tufts, keep those clipped too, as they can collect ice balls.


Fido may not want to spend a lot of time outdoors when it’s cold, and who can blame him? Winter isn’t exactly the best time to walk your dog. It is important to keep your pet active, however. Try playing Fetch indoors. Just don’t pick a spot with many breakable items.

Doggy Comforts

Make sure that your canine buddy has a warm, comfy doggy bed to curl up in. Fido’s bed shouldn’t be in a drafty area, or too close to a heater or fireplace.


Walking Fido in winter brings its own concerns. Wear footwear with good tread, so you don’t slip on the ice. It gets dark early this time of year, so you may want to use a reflective leash on Fido. Be extra careful after a snowfall, as snow can hide dangerous objects, like broken glass.

Please contact us, your McHenry, IL vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!