Cold Weather Care for Dogs

Winter is almost upon us. Is your canine buddy ready for the cold weather? If not, read on as a local Livonia, MI veterinarian offers some tips on caring for Fido in winter.


Make sure Fido has a comfy bed to snuggle up in when the weather is cold. Add soft blankets to your canine pal’s bed to make it cozier. If your dog is very large, or is a senior, consider getting him a good orthopedic bed.


Regular brushing will remove dead hair from Fido’s coat and help prevent mats and tangles, both of which will maximize the insulating properties of that pretty fur. If your pooch has tufts of fur between his toes, keep these trimmed back, as they can get matted and make it harder for your dog to get traction on slippery surfaces.

Paw Care

Snow, ice, salt, sand and chemical deicers can all be very hard on Fido’s paws. If your pooch won’t go for wearing booties, use paw balm or wax to protect those furry feet.


While dogs with thick coats could actually get too hot wearing clothes, pooches with thin coats may need some extra protection against winter’s bite. Just be careful not to put Fido in anything that is too tight or constricting. You also want to avoid choosing doggy clothes with buttons or dangling threads that could choke or entangle your pet.


Some dogs may need to eat a little more in winter. If Fido is a senior, a puppy, or a working dog, or if he spends a lot of time outdoors, he may need more calories in cold weather. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.


Dogs are part of the family and are always much happier and more comfortable indoors, but our canine friends do enjoy some outdoor time as well. If your dog spends time in the yard, make sure he has a comfortable shelter. Doghouses should be cleaned thoroughly in fall, before the weather gets cold.

Senior Dogs

Senior dogs are very sensitive to temperature extremes and fluctuations. If Fido is in his golden years, keep him indoors when the weather is bad, and try to avoid bringing him from hot to cold areas too quickly.

Do you have questions about your dog’s health or care? We can help! Please contact us, your Livonia, MI vet, anytime.

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