Snow can be polarizing — some people love it while others hate it. The same can be said for our pets. Some pups can’t wait for that first snowfall to run through piles of the fluffy white stuff, while others refuse to go out once the ground is covered. Dogs still need exercise during the winter, though, which means venturing outside even when there’s snow. With the following dog safety tips, you can keep your pup both safe and happy on your winter walks.

As with all new experiences, it can take a while for a dog to get used to snow. If you have a new puppy or just moved from someplace that didn’t have snow, expect an adjustment period — especially when it comes to your pet doing their business. If your dog refuses to go to the bathroom in the snow, it might help to shovel an area for them to use. After some time, they’ll likely feel more comfortable and you won’t have to designate a special bathroom spot.

Another important dog safety tip is to recognize when it’s too cold for your pet. The amount of time, and temperature, that your dog can handle will be affected by their size and coat. Smaller dogs tend to get colder faster, and those with short hair will likely feel the effects of cold weather more than those with long hair. Use pet coats and sweaters when appropriate, and ask your vet to provide guidance on how long your breed of dog can handle cold weather.

Another dog safety consideration is the use of salt and antifreeze. Many homeowners put salt on their driveways and sidewalks, which can irritate a dog’s paws and cause an upset stomach if ingested. Make sure to clean paws after each walk, or if your dog tolerates it, you can use paw booties for extra protection. It’s also important to remember that antifreeze is sweet-tasting but extremely toxic. Make sure to keep any antifreeze out of reach of pets and clean up spills immediately.

Arguably, the most important dog safety tip is to ensure they get proper medical attention when required. Too many times, pet owners delay going to the vet because of the costs associated with a visit. With pet insurance, you can recoup up to 80% of veterinary costs if your pet becomes ill or is injured in an accident. Plus, when you sign up through Hudson’s Bay Financial Services, you’re eligible to receive up to 4,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points annually.1

Receive your online pet insurance quote in minutes.

Hudson’s Bay Financial Services is happy to offer coverage for your dog through Petline Insurance — Canada’s largest pet insurance company.

1 Earn 2,000 Hudson’s Bay Rewards points when you purchase a Basic Care Plan, 3,000 Rewards points for Enhanced Care and 4,000 Rewards points for an Enhanced Care Plus plan. Points will be issued in equal increments after every six months when you use a valid Canadian-issued credit card to pay for your premiums and will not be pro-rated. Offer valid in Alberta, British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.