Winter Care Tips for Dogs

Our canine pals may have fur coats on, but that doesn’t mean Fido won’t get chilly when the thermometer plunges. In fact, dogs need a bit of extra TLC to keep them healthy, comfy, and safe during the cold season. In this article, a Northwest Indianapolis, IN vet discusses winter care for dogs.


Dogs with thin fur may need some extra protection from frigid weather. Fido may really appreciate a warm winter sweater! Just be careful not to put your canine buddy in anything that restricts his movements or fits too snugly. You’ll also want to avoid putting your pooch in anything with buttons or other small, decorative pieces he could possibly choke on.


Regular grooming will also help your dog stay warm. Brushing Fido regularly will keep his coat free of tangles, dirt, and dead fur. These things all decrease the insulating effects of that pretty fur.


Some dogs may need to eat more during winter, as they’ll burn extra calories staying warm. If your pooch is a working dog, a senior, a puppy, or just spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need larger portions during the cold season. Dogs with arthritis or other medical conditions may also benefit from certain supplements. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Keep your pooch warm and cozy indoors as much as possible when it’s cold outside. If Fido does spend time in the yard, make sure he has a comfy, well-insulated doghouse.


Fido’s sensitive paw pads can easily be damaged by walking on salt, sand, snow, ice, and chemical de-icing agents. If your furry buddy doesn’t care for wearing paw booties, use balm or wax to protect his feet. We also recommend wiping your pup’s paws with a damp cloth after each walk. Nail trims are also important, as overgrown nails are quite painful for dogs, and can also make it hard for them to walk on slippery ice.


Make sure Fido has a warm, comfy bed to snuggle up into. Senior dogs and big dogs will benefit from the support an orthopedic bed offers. Your pooch may also enjoy a heating pad, especially if he has thin fur or a bone/joint problem, like arthritis. Ask your vet for recommendations.

Does Fido need shots or an exam? We can help! Contact us, your Northwest Indianapolis, IN animal clinic, today.