Toronto: 2.8 million people. 230,000 dogs. With so many people who love dogs (and many others who don’t), here’s how everybody can work together to live in harmony.
The city said in a statement: “Winter is a fun season, but can present some hazards for your dogs. Before going outside, put booties on dogs to protect paws from salt and ice. Check out winter care tips for dogs.”
• Leash and control your dog.
• Stoop and scoop.
• Exercise, train and socialize your dog.
• Spay/neuter and get license.
The City has expanded Green Bins (organic waste) to all Dog Off-Leash Areas in parks across the city. In parks that do not have a Green Bin, residents are encouraged to dispose of organic waste in garbage bins.
Number one tip: if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside or walks short when possible.
Remember never to shave your dog down to the skin in winter – longer coats provide more warmth. If your dog is shorthaired, think about getting a warm sweater or coat that covers from tail to belly.
Before going outside, put booties on dogs to protect paws from salt and ice. Or try massaging a protectant into paw pads, and bring a towel on long walks to clean off any irritated paws.
The City works to reduce the environmental impacts of road salt use as much as possible by actively managing salt use. Remember to wipe your dog’s paws after a walk.
After walks, wash and dry your dog’s feet and stomach to remove ice, salt and chemicals, and check for cracks in paw pads or redness between the toes. Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells.
Washing too often can give them dry, flaky skin. Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm. Talk to your veterinarian to see if your dog needs extra food during the cold weather months.
Antifreeze is a lethal poison for your pet. When possible, consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Always clean up any spills from your vehicle.
Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. Think cozy dog bed.