1. Limit time outside – once the temperature drops below 32 degrees small dogs, dogs with thin coats and older dogs should be kept outdoors at a minimum. If the temperature is below 20 degrees, dogs can become frostbiten if left outside too long. If it is too cold for you it is probable too cold for most dogs.  

2. Use pet friendly ice melt – avoid walking your dog in areas that are treated with salt or roads that have been treated with any type of de-icing solution. Commercial ice melts are very hard on your dog’s pads. For areas around your home, use a pet friendly ice melt  

3. Wash dog’s paws thoroughly after a walk – a gentle washing with warm water will help get any excess salt or built-up snow from your dog’s paws. Be sure to gently clean the webbing. Inspect the webbing for any foreign particles.  

4. Use a Paw Balm – using a paw balm like Musher’s Secret will help keep your dog’s paws safe from the cold and ice. It will also help to prevent cracking.  

5. Keep their paws groomed – make sure the hair is trimmed around the paws on long hair breeds. This will help prevent snowballing in the pads. Keep their nails trimmed, this should be a year-round thing.  

6. Dry your dog thoroughly – if your dog is out in the snow make sure to try them thoroughly. A shammy is great for this. Also, keep your home humid. This will help prevent your dog’s (and yours) skin from drying out. Using a fish oil supplement can help maintain your dog’s coat in the cold weather.  

7. Do not shave your pet – hold off until the warmer months when bringing your dog’s coat down.  

8. Make sure your car is not leaking anti-freeze – anti-freeze is toxic for dogs. To make it worse, some dogs are attracted to the sent and will lick it up. Keep dogs away from any engine leaks.  

9. Avoid ice – if your dog falls through a large puddle covered with a thin layer of ice, they are in danger of getting frostbite. The water under the ice is close to freezing. Also, your dog’s traction is severely compromised on ice. If your dog slides they risk injuring their leg, hip and shoulder joints.  

10. Keep them leashed – when walking when there is snow on the ground keep your dog on leash. Dogs may become disoriented in heavier snow. Their normal scent cues may be diminished when there is snow on the ground.