It’s the season for cold and icy weather and while most dogs love to frolic in the snow, the winter months can pose potential pet risks. Going out in the cold is all about being prepared, but also knowing what dangers dog owners need to be aware of. At Bark Avenue Daycamp, our staff is always aware of these risks, and we ensure your dog is safe when they are with us in Barlett, Illinois for doggie daycare, kennel boarding, or dog training. Here are some of the things we recommend you be aware of at home during these Winter months.

Check for Extreme Temperatures

Temperatures can become extremely frigid – check the temperature and windchill, as certain parts of the day can be risky. Blizzards, ice storms, hail storms, and other serious winter weather events can make your dog cold, wet, and miserable. Use your best judgment on when it’s most appropriate to get your dog outside to do its business and quickly get back inside.

Wipe Your Dogs Paws

Whether you’re returning from a walk with your dog or they’ve only been outside to go potty, always make sure to wipe their paws with a slightly damp towel. During the winter, especially when it snows or ices, the salts that are put down to melt the ice are harmful to a dog’s paws. Their paws can also chap. If you notice any chapping, lightly coat the paw with petroleum jelly to help keep moisture in as part of your dog grooming routine.

Watch Out For Chemicals

During the wintertime, many people begin changing the antifreeze in their cars. This sweet-tasting chemical is extremely harmful to dogs that can cause damage to their kidneys or even death. According to AKC, antifreeze has the highest fatality rate of any other toxin in pets. If your dog has walked through any, wash their paws with soap and water immediately. If you think your dog has licked, drank, or been in contact with antifreeze, contact your vet immediately.

Don’t Leave Your Dog in the Car

When you travel with your dog make sure not to leave them unattended in a vehicle for any period of time. In the summer most people understand their vehicle becomes too hot and turns into an oven, however, a lot of people do not realize that during the winter the car will become a refrigerator. Cold temperatures are just as dangerous for dogs as hot temperatures. If you are needing to spend the day running errands, and you don’t want to leave your dog at home alone, sign them up for doggie daycare at Bark Avenue Daycamp! Our dog daycamp clients are from Elgin, Hoffman Estates, St. Charles, and Bartlett. Let your pup join in on the fun while you get things done around town!

Recognize the Symptoms of Hypothermia

Very low temperatures and cold winds can reduce your dog’s body temperature, causing frostbite and/or hypothermia. Smaller breeds and puppies are much more susceptible to hypothermia than big dogs.

These are some of the signs of dog hypothermia, according to PetMD:

  • Whining
  • Shivering
  • Seeming anxious
  • Moving slow
  • Weak
  • Burrowing into warm places

Use Doggy Jackets & Booties

Consider putting a jacket and/or booties on your dog. A warm down-filled jacket can go a long way to keeping a tiny puppy warm, while booties will protect the feet. If you use booties, be sure to try them at home first – sometimes dogs need a little time to get used to them.

Protect Delicate Paws From Ice & Salt

Booties protect the paws, but they aren’t for every dog. If your dog doesn’t like them, coat his paw in AKC’s homemade paw balm instead. Made from beeswax and soothing emollients, these balms create a protective waterproof barrier between your dog’s paw and the ground. This prevents ice buildup and salt burn.

Whether you live in Bartlett, Hoffman Estates, St. Charles, Elgin, or Schaumburg, call us at (630) 289-8470 or contact us online to book your dog or puppy for kennel boarding, dog grooming, dog training, or doggie day camp with us at Bark Avenue Daycamp.