Protect your dog’s paws, claws and more during the cold winter months, but how?

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MILWAUKEE -- Most dogs love running around outside in the snow, but the ice and cold can cause some problems with their fur and skin. Angela Speed with the Wisconsin Humane Society has some advice for protecting your pooches from cold weather complications.

Winter precautions for dogs

• If your dog loves to spend time outside in the winter and their natural coat won`t cut it, you may want to invest in a dog sweater or dog coat. They can keep your furry family member warm when they`re out for a walk or at the dog park.

• Keep your dog`s coat well groomed and brushed - coats do a better job of insulating when there are no matts in their fur, allowing natural pils to protect their skin and coat. To help combat shedding and matting, brush your dog at least weekly, if not daily. Brushing not only helps with mats and tangles, it also helps distribute natural oils that help condition your dog`s coat and skin. A mat-free coat insulates the body, keeping your dog warm when they`re out in the cold.

• For paws sensitive to all the salt on the sidewalk, consider using boots or balm on their paw pads. Keep hair around the paws short-otherwise snow and ice can build up.

• Be really careful to clean up antifreeze in the winter, as it can be quite deadly for pets. It has a sweet smell and taste, too, so animals are drawn to it.

• We've already had thaws this January, and the mud is unbelievable! To avoid having to mop the floors twice a day, keep a damp towel near your door and wipe down your dog`s paws after outdoor play time. You may even consider filling a litterbox or similar container with water and placing it by the door so your dog can walk through it and rinse her paws off.

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