Dogs Trust

Winter and cold weather

At the coldest times of year, there are many precautions that can be taken to keep dogs safe and well despite heavy rain, snow and ice. We suggest the following:

  • Let your dog's winter coat grow, and if you have a puppy, short-haired or old dog it is a good idea to buy him a sensible coat to keep out the chill. 
  • After walking your dog or if he has been out in the rain, make sure he is completely dried so that he does not catch a cold.
  • Keep your dog on a lead if it is snowing very heavily. Snow can be disorienting and can affect a dog’s sense of smell so he could become lost easily.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped and wearing an ID tag in case he does get lost.
  • Grit used to melt snow can cut their paws and make sure you wipe your dog’s legs, feet and stomach when you come indoors after a snowy walk. Washing and wiping your dog's feet after walks will also prevent stray lumps of ice getting painfully trapped in their paws.
  • Antifreeze is highly poisonous but tasty to dogs! Keep it well out of their reach.
  • Never leave your dog in a car during extreme weather, hot or cold.
  • Do not let your dog walk on frozen ponds – the ice may not be thick enough to take his weight.
  • If your dog does fall through the ice never be tempted to go after them but encourage them to swim back to you.