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Winter Safety for Small Dogs

February 1, 2021

February is here, and we’re just about halfway through winter. Our canine patients certainly have very mixed opinions about this time of year. Some love to run around in the snow, while others will spend most of the cold season curled up in their beds. It’s probably safe to say that many smaller breeds fall into the latter group. A local Burlington, ON vet offers some tips on keeping little dogs comfy and safe in winter below.

Cold Hardiness

The cold can be harder on little dogs than it is on medium or large pooches, for a few reasons. For one thing, larger breeds just naturally conserve heat better than little ones do. It doesn’t help that small dogs also be up to their tummies in just a few inches of snow. Plus, many of them have thin coats, which doesn’t insulate them as well as thick fur would. Another thing to consider is the fact that small dogs often burn quite a few calories just running around. This can keep their body fat down, which will also leave them more vulnerable to cold.


Some breeds do better than others do when it comes to cold weather. Chihuahuas, for instance, are definitely not well-suited for cold weather! Breeds like Toy Poodles and Chinese Cresteds also tend to hate winter. On the other hand of the spectrum, fluffier pups, such as Pomeranians and Corgis, are a bit better prepared, but are still more vulnerable than large breeds.

Signs of Cold

If Fido gets too cold, he will likely start to shiver. He may also whine, move more slowly, or try to keep his paws off the ground. If you notice any of these signs, immediately take your pint-sized pooch back indoors. Make sure he has a warm bed to snuggle up in!

Keeping Fido Warm

Man’s Best Friend can wear a variety of cute winter clothes, including sweaters, jackets, scarves, and even boots. Make sure that your furry friend’s things fit him well, and are not tight, hot, itchy, or restricting. We recommend getting Fido a few different things. That way, if something is wet or dirty, he’ll still have some wardrobe options. Your canine pal may also appreciate a heated or thermal bed and, of course, some lap space.

As your local Burlington, ON animal hospital, we’re always happy to help. Contact us anytime! 

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