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Published: Nov 07, 2011

Staying with a regular exercise regimen all year is crucial to helping a dog maintain a healthy weight. With appropriate precautions during the winter, these cooler months are often the best time as dogs can play longer without getting too hot.

According to, homeowners and local governments start to deice the streets and sidewalks with chemicals when snow falls. Although these work to prevent slips for people, the chemicals can also get lodged into dogs' foot pads, which can lead to inflammation or the development of abrasions. The site suggests either getting dog booties to wear during walks, or that owners be diligent about cleaning their dog's feet after returning home from a romp outside.

Antifreeze is another winter worry for pet owners as most of these products give off a sweet scent and taste to dogs, though ingesting it can be deadly. According to VCA Animal Hospitals, the main ingredient - ethylene glycol - can cause kidney failure in dogs. Early signs of ingestion can begin to show just 30 minutes after a dog gets into the chemical.

Although your dog may show no signs of being too cold on a bitter winter day, avoid keeping your dog out too long as frost bite and hypothermia are real dangers for pets. Make sure to take frequent breaks to warm up inside and if it gets too cold for you, it is too cold for your dog also.