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The snow isn't a snack: here’s how you’re hurting your pets

Emily Vukovic
Video Journalist

Monday, January 8, 2018, 4:50 PM - As Canadians deal with the current ‘classic’ winter, conversations often revolve around we keep ourselves, or our automobiles, in order.

But what about our animal friends? 

It's important we take the time to ensure what we are exposing them to is right for their needs.

Here is a list of ways our attempt at TLC might actually be harming our pets.

Not dressing them right

If you have a little dog, or one with short fur, consider getting them a sweater or a coat to keep them warm. Some breeds are more susceptible to the cold like Chihuahuas, greyhounds, whippets, miniature pinschers and similar dogs with short fur.

You might want to consider getting doggie booties for winter walks. Not only will these help keep their paws warm, but they can also offer protection from sharp objects hidden under the snow.

"Dressing your dog appropriately isn’t a fashion statement, it’s to keep them warm," says Kallie Milleman from the OSPCA.

"Take them to the store to try on the items and don’t be afraid to let them wear it around the house to get used to it.”

Snow is not a snack

Some dogs will eat anything, including snow.

Seems harmless right? Wrong. 

Snow may contain chemicals like antifreeze or salt that you do not want your pet consuming. There might also be small objects hidden in the snow that could be harmful if swallowed.


Save marathon walks for the warmer months

If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet.

"Adjust your routine," Milleman advises.

"You need to not only worry about the cold temperatures, but the fading light as well during the winter. Be safe and get some reflective gear for you and your pet while walking in the early morning and evening."

Keep your walks short and if your dog needs a lot of exercise, consider training them to use a treadmill (no joke!) or use other methods of keeping them stimulated. Try giving them a play date, or toys filled with treats to keep them busy.


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