Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.

Steve Caswell

Steve Caswell


Realty Executives of Sudbury Ltd.


Winter Pet Safety

(Published on - 3/6/2023 11:50:20 PM)

Our whole team are big animal lovers.  So, I wanted to use this blog to speak for those “furry kids” in the house as we move into the onset of Old Man Winter….

Throughout the summer, we hear many stories and warnings about leaving pets in cars when it is too hot.  There are phone numbers to call to have pets rescued (3107722) and many people have smashed windows to save pets when they deem it necessary.   You hear about the pavement being too hot for animals to walk on and many people have their pets on tick meds as the summer months have gotten more and more populated with these nasty little buggers.

Just like the summer months, winter should be no different.  There are many, many things that we need to be aware of throughout the colder months when it comes to our furry family members… especially for our Northern Ontario fur babies.

Our winters can be harsh… ridiculously harsh.  With it just around the corner (oops, already arrived!!!!), I wanted to take this opportunity for a few reminders to keep all our pets, and others’ pets, safe and sound throughout the coming winter.

Lakes and Thin Ice

I must start with this one as I think it is one of the most important since most of us live here in Sudbury, which is surrounded by over 350 lakes, as per Caz’s Camp Drifter blog

Greater Sudbury lakes are something we enjoy immensely in the winter and summer months. But these places we see as absolute bliss can be extremely dangerous during the transitional periods.  Please be very cautious on the lakes in and around the areas where you frequent with your pooch. It is important to be 100% sure on the thickness of the lake before stepping foot on it for walks or allowing your baby to be off leash.  Things can happen in a second so please, please be careful and always err on the side of extreme caution!  To drive home the severity, remember that if the ice isn’t strong enough to support them, there is absolutely nothing you can do once it’s too late.  I don’t mean to be too harsh here, but this has to be recognized at full face value to avoid it at all costs.

Ice is slick and can be a real hazard to walk on whether you’re on lakes, driveways or areas where water pooled before freezing.  So, it’s important to note that, if it is icy or really slippery, probably best to find another walking path for the day.  You don’t want your furry companion to slip and possibly injure themselves…not to mention take you out in the process. 

But, to lighten the mood again, do you also notice that when dogs slip or stumble, they look around like we do to see if anyone saw it??!!  Makes me giggle every time with our kids…..

Paw Protection

Some dogs have no issues walking in booties.  They strut their stuff like they were born to wear them… Runway Style!  If you’re lucky enough to have a dog that doesn’t kick off or chew through their booties and can walk somewhat normal, then booties are the way to go.  Not only are they stinkin’ adorable, they will protect their paws from the cold and chemicals/salt that are used on our roads for ice and snow removal.  There are some really cute matching sweaters and tuques too!!!  Get them all bundled up and looking chic! 

If your pet is not a runway model, please be sure to practice the following:

  • Rinse paws after a walk.  Have a bowl/bucket of warm water ready for your pet’s arrival from their walk.  Rinsing their paws can prevent them from ingesting any residue left on them when they lick and can prevent any paw pad freezer burn they might experience.  Don’t forget to rinse between the toes!
  • Some paws might be a little fluffier than others.  Trimming the extra fur around their paws/pads will prevent snow/ice from balling which could lead to chaffing, chapping and possibly cutting their pads.  I doubt you would want a bunch of snow stuck to your feet walking around when you get home!
  • Paw balm can be used before and after to protect your babies’ paws. They are available at your nearest pet store or vet, but there are also some DIY recipes online that you can try and make yourself.  They can also be used on your hound’s nose if it tends to get dry and crusty.

Scent Loss

Try not letting your dog off leash even though this is something that they might be used to.  When it snows, their scent can be lost in a new snow fall and especially during a storm.  If they’re bounding through fresh snow, they could get disoriented and have difficulty finding their way back.

During the onset of spring, there are a million new smells surfacing that Fido might want to explore.  If they’re off leash, that nose could quickly take them too far from you and into hazardous areas of flowing water.

Unattended in a Car

Just like leaving your pet in the car on a hot summer’s day, the same danger can occur if you have left your pet in a car in the colder months.  How would you feel if your pet left you in the fridge for a few hours?

Winter Puddles

It is probably best to make sure that your pet avoids all winter puddles.  There is antifreeze, road salts and quite a few other poisonous chemicals that may accumulate over the winter.  Try and make sure that your pet steers clear of all winter puddles just to be on the safe side.

Limit Their Time Outside

There are some dogs that are bred to handle the colder temperatures, but most are not.  Even some of these breeds have not had much exposure to the lower temperatures.  Just cause their great-great-great-grandpaws were sled dogs in the late 1800’s doesn’t mean they’re going to perform as well outside.  So, it is always best to keep your pet indoors when the thermostat drops.  You will have to come up with some creative ways to keep them occupied to burn off extra energy, but safety comes first, so try your best to amuse them… throw and catch really doesn’t need that much space, they just appreciate the attention.

Not Just For The Dogs….

As for our feline friends, they can be quite independent.  They are used to coming and going as they please.  The trouble is, they might seem fine once they’re out but in time (and, if cold enough, it takes no time at all before they could be in trouble) their paw pads will get too cold to feel and they won’t be able to make their way back home.  Keep your pet indoors when the temperature drops. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

But, even if you don’t personally own a cat, there are times where cats try to find warmth and shelter any way that they can.  If you park outside, it is important to always tap the hood of your car before starting it as cats may have taken refuge under your hood.  They tend to seek shelter there for the warmth from your engine, or at times, will perch themselves on the top of your tires if the tires are still warm.  Just try and be a little alert when walking to your car… you just never know who’s furry kid you’ll save by doing a little deed to make sure.

We know these aren’t all the tips to keeping our furry friends safe throughout the winter.  Please comment and share if you feel there’s anything we’ve missed and please, please, please, please share your pics of your dressed-up pet strutting their winter gear!!!!!  

Don’t panic and please enjoy your winter with your furry family member… we all know how much they can love this time of year…. especially those babies that are seeing snow for the first time!  Have fun but be safe!

We’re always here to help make sure all the angles are covered for the entire family, including the furry and exotic family members!  Never hesitate to contact us at, check out all our great blog topics hereyou can start MLS™ search by clicking here or visit our website for tons of great info on buying and selling in Greater Sudbury and surrounding areas!

Contributed by:

Michelle Caswell

Cell - 705.507.1229


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other salespersons, staff or affiliates of Realty Executives of Sudbury LTD. Brokerage, Realty Executives International, the Sudbury Real Estate Board, Ontario Real Estate Association, Canadian Real Estate Association or any of their subsidiaries.  For any concerns pertaining to the content herein, please contact us immediately at


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