Cami visitng the NatrixOne Headquarters in Cincinnati, Ohio.

As temperatures drop across the eastern part of the US this week and precipitation settle in, our furry family will be spending more time in the harsh elements. Every year dozens of Canines succumb to hypothermia from negligence.   Careful planning and extra precaution can lead to a safe but fun day playing in the snow. Dogs will love playing outside this winter, but it’s important to take precautions to keep them safe.

Here at NatrixOne we always make sure to bring along some of our NatrixBones Camelina Dog Biscuits, which will help keep your furry friend warm and healthy. These biscuits are made with natural ingredients and fortified with vitamin e and minerals, so they’re perfect for keeping your dog warm and active this winter.  Additionally, we’ve put together a canine winter safety guide to keep in mind as you head outside this week.

How Cold is Too Cold for Dogs?

Most dogs are tolerant of temperatures as low as 40-45 degrees Fahrenheit, with the exception of arctic breeds. When heading into the elements, be sure to limit your dog’s playtime in the ice or snow to 30 minutes.  

What does Frostbite and hypothermia look like in Dogs?

If you suspect your dog is suffering from prolonged exposure to the cold, wrap him or her in a warm towel. Inspect the paws, which are at the highest frostbite risk, for cracking, swelling, discoloration, or extensive tissue damage. If there is bleeding seek medical attention for a qualified provider. 

Do Dogs Need to wear a Coat?

Most long-haired dog breeds will tolerate the cold weather without extra clothing. However, every year dozens of dogs suffer fatalities from being left outside. We encourage all owners to protect their pup accordingly with a dog coat that is designed to keep in warmth over impressing spectators.

Life Hack: Keep a patch of grass snow free with a piece of plywood

Do Dogs Need Snow Boots?

Dog boots are an effective way to protect paws from frostbite. In addition to boots, you can apply paw wax directly to the bottom of paws to protect them from harmful street and sidewalk salts that cause abrasions.

How Much Snow Can Dogs Eat?

Consuming snow in small quantities is generally safe for dogs. Snow that has been exposed to harmful chemicals, waste, or dirt should be avoided. Rock salt that is used to deter ice buildup on streets and sidewalks is harmful to dogs. Consuming too much snow will lower your dog’s body temperature so don’t leave them unattended at the freshly fallen winter banquet.

What Is Snow Blindness in Dogs?

Dogs that have constant exposure to snowscapes can suffer from snow blindness, also known as photokeratitis.  Symptoms of snow blindness in dogs include bloodshot or swollen eyes. While not widely common in Western countries, wearing dog goggles will help protect against the risk of snow blindness. 

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About the Author

Rich Coleman
Dr. Rich Coleman grew up in Fairfield, Ohio and began his journey into veterinary medicine as a kennel attendant at the age of 15. He completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Cincinnati before graduating from The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. Dr. Rich took over Plum Veterinary Clinic in December 2006, changed the name to Four Paws Animal Hospital in 2007, built a new facility in 2012 and began a remodel in March 2019 to allow for more growth and opportunities for our community. Dr. Rich Coleman is the Chief Veterinary Officer for NatrixOne™ and completed our 100 dog study in 2018. After seeing results firsthand, he joined the NatrixOne team!