MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Winter weather can create a tough time for dogs, but there’s a lot owners can do to keep them safe.
Paying attention and being aware of the signs is a good start. That’s what Jessi Sharp was doing with her 10-month-old German shorthaired pointer, Finn, at a downtown Minneapolis dog park Saturday.
“When he gets too cold, we know because he puts one foot in the air,” she said. “That’s his sign of ‘I’m cold, I don’t want to be outside anymore.’”
Kayla Oakley’s dog, Miko, does the same.
“He’ll lift up the back of his paws to keep the paws off the ice, and that’s especially when I know to get inside,” Oakley said.
Libby Ward, a veterinary assistant with BluePearl Pet Hospital, says to be cognizant of dogs’ paws too.
“Are they getting ice stuck in them? What kind of salt are you using outside and is that getting caught in their paws?” she said.
Ward says to watch for when a dog is licking its paws because it could be ice melt from outside. The salt can cause upset stomachs or diarrhea, in addition to irritating their skin. Experts advise contacting a vet if symptoms are severe.
Ward suggests wiping paws down after being outside.
“I get the pet-friendly salt and I think that really helps him out a lot,” Oakley said.
Emergency veterinary hospitals say they are always open to taking questions.