Guild of Shepherds & Collies

Pet Safety This Winter

It's absolutely adorable watching dogs as they prance around in snow. However, cold winter weather can be dangerous for your pet in these 6 ways.

Hypothermia / Frostbite

While they may have a built-in fur coat, they can be susceptible to the cold just like us. A dog with shorter fur, or undersides low to the ground, they are most susceptible to hypothermia. Their ears, nose, tail and toes are most vulnerable to frostbite. If they really like romping in the snow make sure you outfit them with a cute (and warm) sweater! Initial signs of hypothermia are paleness and intense shivering.


The coolant is often sweet in taste and brightly colored, but is fatal because of the ethylene glycol in it. Be especially aware of spills from your car or leaks so your pets don't ingest it. If they do, take them to the vet immediately. If they do without your knowledge, there are three stages of antifreeze poisoning: drooling/vomiting, then physical symptoms resolve while internal injury begins, then finally kidney failure, seizures, or a coma within 24 hours.

Your Fireplace

Who doesn’t love a nice, warm fire? Your dog will surely love them, too. They might love it so much that they get a little too close for comfort. A little too close and they could singe their fur and receive painful burns. Avoid this by placing a screen over the fireplace.

Rock Salt

That salt that saves you from slipping can irritate and chap your pet’s paws, and be a poison if consumed in certain quantities. To avoid this, either buy some cute dog booties or wash their paws every time they come into the house. Around your own home, look for pet-friendly ice melting products.


Colder weather means your dog’s body is working harder to keep warm. Since their engine is running at full capacity, their fuel should be increased as well. This increase should be 25%-50%, reflected in their size (larger body = more food) and how much exercise they are getting. So, if they are indoors with reduced activity, you may actually want to decrease their food proportions.

Wet Fur

If your dog’s fur gets wet, their temperature will drop significantly, leaving them to the dangers referred to in number one. Keep plenty of towels handy to dry off your dog after playing in the snow. If they continue to shiver, warm a towel in the dryer and wrap them in it.

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