VCA Animal Hospitals

My dog doesn't like the snow - what should I do?

Published: Dec 21, 2012

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Last week, the Midwest was clobbered by a massive blizzard, and it's more than likely that other parts of the U.S. will be hit by snow before the season's over. This can cause a big headache for pet owners who find that their dog doesn't like the white stuff. If your canine companion is adverse to snow, here are some tips that can make winter easier on both of you.

What's got your dog's tail in a twist?
Before you jump to the conclusion that your dog simply hates snow, you should try to figure out if there's something else that's upsetting him. Perhaps it's not the precipitation but the cold temperature that he finds unpleasant. If this is the case, you should make sure any dog grooming you do keeps his coat full and healthy, as this is the dog's number one insulation against the cold. Canines with thick coats won't need jackets, but short-haired or hairless dogs might need a few extra layers to keep the cold at bay.

Other dogs may be perturbed not by the snow itself, but by treatments people put out to reduce ice and other wintery buildup. You can encourage neighbors to use pet-friendly salt, which won't cause pain in dogs, or consider investing in a pair of booties or a wax solution that will keep your canine companion's paws safe.

You should also bring your pet to one of your local vet clinics to make sure his dislike of the cold isn't due to a more serious problem with his health. For example, pain from arthritis in dogs can sometimes be exacerbated by plunging temperatures.

If you're raising puppies, then the issue may be that your canine companions are simply unfamiliar with snow. You can help them get over this by introducing them to it slowly with short walks or by bringing some snow inside and letting them investigate it in a safe space.

If he truly hates snow
If you find that your dog still doesn't want to go out much, even with paw protection and an extra coat, then it may be an indication that your pet truly dislikes snow. This is nothing to worry about - part of what makes dogs such fantastic companions is that each has his own quirks and personality traits. However, it will mean you need to take a few extra measures to make sure he stays healthy until the snow melts away.

Because your dog won't want to go out as often, you will likely see a decline in the number or duration of your daily strolls. This is OK, provided that your dog is still able to relieve himself and you take extra measures to make sure he remains fit. Purchasing a few toys that can be thrown around the house will help your dog stay in shape.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.