How to Keep Your Dog Safe During Winter

When temperatures plummet, it becomes crucial to provide additional care for our furry companions. 

Here are some essential tips to ensure the safety and warmth of our canine friends during winter strolls.

Invest in winter attire and accessories

While larger or more heavily coated breeds often handle the cold with ease, it’s evident that they happily utilise their natural insulation to stay warm outdoors. Whereas, smaller or short-coated dogs may feel the winter chill, therefore we advise you to purchase a well-fitted coat for warmth and dryness during walks. Here at sure4pets, we have a wide range of dog coats

The dim mornings and evenings mean that your dog’s walks likely occur in dark or gloomy conditions. Consider the visibility of your dog to others in low light situations. Reflective collars and jackets are recommended, and you can even opt for bright LED collars and tags to enhance your dog’s visibility to fellow walkers and road users.

Beware of potential dangers on walks

Be cautious of potential hazards during walks. A thick layer of snow can conceal perilous areas that pose a threat to your off-leash dog. 

Deep snow drifts, appearing almost invisible, may lead your dog into difficulty by walking into excessively deep snow.

Frozen ponds, lakes, and streams may seem solid, but a thin ice layer can cover treacherously deep and fatally freezing water. Your dog could easily fall through the ice, placing them in distress, and attempting a rescue could jeopardise your safety.

For these reasons, it’s advisable to keep your dog on a lead during walks in freezing weather. While it may be frustrating for dogs accustomed to off-leash walks, prioritising safety keeps them out of harm’s way.

Clean up and warm up when you get home

Upon returning home, ensure both cleanliness and warmth. If your regular walking route involves roads, pavements, or paths, there’s a likelihood that salt has been scattered to melt ice and prevent slips. We advise you to rinse your dog’s paws with warm water upon arrival, as salt can cause skin irritation.

Some dogs, particularly those with longer coats, may accumulate snowballs on their fur while playing in the snow, while these melt away they will dampen your dogs fur. Dry your dog off using our Ruff and Tumble products.

Following a session of running around in the cold, your dog may initially feel warm and panting. However, as they cool down at home, they can quickly become chilly. Ensure your dog has a snug, dry space to stay warm upon returning home.

Akita-inu dog and Bernese Mountain dog sit side by side in a win

Winter dangers to dogs


Antifreeze poses a severe threat to dogs, capable of causing kidney damage and even death with just a small amount ingested. Its sweet smell and taste make it irresistible to some dogs, often encountered after leaking from a car radiator or spilling during screen wash refills. If your dog has walked through antifreeze, wash their paws with soap and water immediately.


In extremely cold weather during dog walks, closely monitor their paws as ice and snow can accumulate between their pads, causing discomfort and increasing the risk of frostbite. Signs such as lifting paws, stopping walking, or whining may indicate cold paws.


Very low temperatures and cold winds can rapidly decrease your dog’s body temperature, leading to frostbite and/or hypothermia. While most dogs handle the cold well, some may benefit from coats and paw protection, especially small, slim, very young, or older dogs, or those with short hair.


Colder temperatures can exacerbate signs of arthritis in dogs, resulting in increased stiffness, particularly in the morning before warming up. If you observe signs of pain or stiffness in your dog, especially if they suffer from arthritis, consult your vet for guidance.

Rat & Mouse Poison

During colder months, rodents seek warmer shelter, prompting increased use of poisons. While designed to attract rodents, these poisons may appeal to dogs due to their smell and taste. Ensure these poisons are placed out of your dog’s reach.

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