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Canada West Veterinary Specialists warn pet owners about the dangers of cold weather

Written by Cheryl Cole

Love it or hate it, there’s no getting away from the snow in Vancouver right now. The city woke up to even more snow today, and it’s expected to stick around until Friday.

It might make for great pictures, but local veterinarians are warning that this freezing weather can be dangerous for your furry besties. 

Dr Lauren Adelman from Canada West Veterinary Specialists warns that if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog.

Dr. Lauren Adelman, DVM, DACVIM, Small Animal Internal Medicine specialist, Canada West Veterinary Specialists

“It’s a very common misunderstanding that because dogs have fur, the cold weather doesn’t affect them. It’s simply not true,” Small Animal Internal Medicine specialist Lauren explains.

“Dogs are no more well equipped for freezing weather than we are so we need to take precautions.”

Don't worry if your pup loves the snow, Lauren assures us that it’s fine to take them out on their daily walk, but just make it shorter than usual.

And make sure to wipe their paws when you come back inside as the products used to clear the ice can be very harmful to animals.

“Salts and chemicals found in de-icing products can be super irritating to the paw pads so it's important that you clean your pup’s paws after they've been in the snow,” Lauren explains.  “You can also protect their paw pads with booties, commercial creams or even a little Vaseline.


“Antifreeze used in cars is very sweet tasting and attractive to your dogs, but even a small amount can be fatal. It’s extremely toxic and if ingested, can cause kidney failure – so keep your pets away from it!”

Lauren also tells us why we shouldn’t leave our dogs in the car while running errands. She explains, “Cars act like refrigerators and can cool down even more than outside. Your dogs are better off at home in this weather so my advice is, don’t take them out.

“The snow only lasts for a few days so be patient!” 

This time of the year sees a huge increase in animals being brought to the vets with frostbite, irritated paws or injuries from slipping on the ice.

Just like us, it’s important to remember that when it comes to our dogs, the very young, very old and very sick are most vulnerable in this freezing weather.


So, if your dog falls under either of those categories – take extra precautions to keep them safe.

“Coats, sweaters, booties and any clothing items that will keep your dog dry and warm are recommended in this weather," Lauren adds. "But generally speaking, the best thing for your pup is to keep them indoors where possible until the snow passes.”

The wintery weather is expected to last until Friday night so make sure you take Lauren’s advice to keep your four-legged bestie safe in the snow!  



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