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Cold Weather Pet Safety: Cats and Dogs in Winter

As we enter the heart of winter, it's important to remember the challenges our pets face during the cold months. While some dogs and cats need minimal care, others struggle in the cold. Ensuring cold weather pet safety means taking preventive measures to make winter more comfortable for both you and your pets. Here are some tips to help:

Why is My Dog Shedding in Winter?

Pets that spend more time indoors during winter often experience moisture loss and dry skin due to indoor heat. This can cause uncomfortable itching and shedding.

  • Grooming: Use coat strippers to remove dead hair without damaging the remaining coat. For double-coated dogs, a dematting comb can help remove dead hair mats.

  • Bathing: Bathing your dog can clean the skin and replace lost oils and moisture. Use a pet-specific shampoo and avoid human shampoos. Rinse thoroughly and use lukewarm water.

  • Conditioning: For extra dry coats, use a cream rinse every two weeks to rejuvenate the coat and repel moisture and ice, especially for dogs spending time outside.

  • Drying: After bathing, use a high-speed blower to remove loosened dead coat and reduce shedding.

Nail Care for Dogs

In winter, pets don't naturally wear down their nails on rough ground, so regular trimming is essential to prevent long nails from breaking or cracking.

  • Preparation: Before trimming, rub and massage your pet’s feet to get them comfortable with foot restraint.

  • Trimming: Use a nail trimmer suitable for pets, starting slowly and speaking softly to keep your pet calm. Distract them with treats if needed.

Ear Care for Dogs and Cats

Cold weather can cause an increase in ear wax buildup as the skin tries to replace lost oils.

  • Cleaning: Clean the ear canal at least twice a month. Check the ear canal and gently clean it with an ear cleanser, then wipe with a soft tissue or cotton ball.

  • Infections: If the ear is infected or irritated, clean it daily until resolved. Early detection and cleaning can prevent infections.

Skin and Coat Care for Dogs

Some dogs need additional support for skin and coat health.

  • Supplements: Fatty acid supplements can prevent cracking and replace skin oils from the inside out. Omega 3 helps with joint and pad trauma, while Omega 6 keeps tissue soft and pads pliable.

What Can I Do For My Dogs Paws in The Winter?

Cold weather and ice melts can dry out and damage your dog's paw pads.

  • Cleaning: Wash winter ice melt off your dog’s feet and apply a moisturizer.

  • Protection: Use a paw balm to moisturize and heal any damage. House dogs may need boots or socks to prevent excessive licking and chewing of the pads.

Dogs Feet in Cold Weather

Foot problems in dogs during winter are often related to arthritis.

  • Joint Support: Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin can increase joint fluid, easing fatigue and trauma. This helps maintain a healthy pad and joint system, allowing for pain-free running and correct foot placement.

By taking these preventive measures, you can help your pets stay comfortable and healthy throughout the winter. For more information and resources, visit

goldendoodle in white snow
dog in snow


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