Cold Weather Tips for Your Pets

Nova Scotia has some big temperature swings during the winter that can cause your pets to have some discomfort both in the environment and in their own skin. Here are a few tips on how to help your pet live with the cold temperatures and keep them cozy all winter long.


Going from Inside to Outside

Towel dry your pet as soon as they come inside, especially their feet. Remove any and all snowballs and dry them as best you can.  Moving from inside (dry heat) to outside (wet and cold) can cause itchy flakey skin so pay particular attention on the snowy days to clean them up.

Maintaining their Coat

Longer fur coats will provide your dog/cat with more warmth. If you have to shave them due to matting or skin irritation, put a coat or sweater on them.   Remember to trim the hair between their toes where the snowballs form and trim any other hairs that are long enough to collect snow or salt and road chemicals that may cause skin irritation.

Irritation of Salt & Road Chemicals

If you’re walking in an area where there will be lots of salt and road chemicals, try a thin bootie to keep the irritation to a minimum.

Dangers of Antifreeze & Coolant

Antifreeze and coolant are lethal for dogs and cats. Be sure to clean up any spills and consider having these services done at a location other than your home.

A Little Extra Dinner

Feed your pet a little more during the winter, keeping warm is a good calorie burn!

If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.

Lastly, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Pets can get disorientated by the cold and not thinking clearly can impact their ability to find their way home.  Cats are best kept indoors during all seasons but especially winter months, and dogs should always be supervised.


Don’t let the cold get you down, there are plenty of fun ways to enjoy the winter months with your pet.  Your indoor cat would love a cookie sheet of snow to sniff and figure out.  One of the best ways to provide enrichment for your indoor cat is to provide them with some outdoor things to check out.  Did you cut a branch off your maple tree?  Bring it in for your cat to check out.  Play fetch with your dog. Snow? Hail? Ice Pellets?  Enrichment for your pet!  Easy and free!