Winter Safety Tips for Dog Owners

As snow begins to fall here in Kersey, Colorado, we urge dog owners to take precautionary measures to keep their furry family members safe and healthy. Pay attention to your pets when they are outside, especially puppies and senior dogs since they are more susceptible to cold temperatures.

Frostbite & Hypothermia

Hypothermia and frostbite are two major problems during the winter months. Caused by extended exposure to the cold, both are easy to prevent by keeping your dog inside for the majority of the day. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, shallow breathing and lethargy, while frostbite is signaled by red skin, swelling and blisters on the ears, feet and tail. Frostbite may be difficult to see beneath your dog’s fur, so be sure to check over your pet when he or she comes inside.

For dogs with short fur that quickly grow cold outside, a sweater may be a good investment. Be sure to choose one that fits comfortably and does not hinder movement. Boots are also available for pets with sensitive pads.

Winter Grooming

Instead of having your dog’s fur cut short during the winter months, let it grow a little longer for extra warmth and insulation. This may lead to more brushing and baths, so be sure that they are completely dry before heading outside.


Antifreeze and salt are two products frequently used during the winter that can harm your dog. Keep your winter supplies well out of your furry friend’s reach and be sure to clean up antifreeze spills right away to prevent poisoning. We also recommend using antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol, since this chemical is less poisonous to pets. Signs of antifreeze poisoning include disorientation and grogginess.

While salt is not poisonous to your pet, it and other ice melters can irritate your dog’s pads and skin. Prevent dry, raw skin by taking the time to wipe off their paws and belly after playing or going for a walk outside.

If your dog shows symptoms of frostbite, hypothermia or antifreeze poisoning this winter, keep them warm and call Powell Veterinary Services at 970-352-9164 immediately. Located in Kersey, Colorado, we serve an array of neighboring towns as well. Interested in scheduling an annual checkup? Request an appointment online or by phone.