Dog Days of Winter

Every other month our pet expert and Canine Coaches dog trainer Jill Bailey will answer your pet questions. Email her at For more info on Canine Coaches visit Q: I have heard that sidewalk salt is bad for dogs, is this true? A: Yes, ingredients commonly found in ice melt can be harmful to your pet if ingested. Be sure to wipe your pet’s paws after a walk. You can also buy booties/socks for your dog. There are also pet-friendly, non-toxic ice melt options available; search those out to be sure you are keeping your pet safe. And remember, even when there isn’t a lot of salt, the colder temperatures will still affect your dog’s paw pads. There are balms available for dog’s paws — check with your veterinarian for what would work best for your dog. Q: My dog counter surfs — what can I do to stop this behavior? A: A behavior like this is self-rewarding for the dog. To stop it, you need to manage your dog’s environment. Keep all food off of the counter, and if you have to leave food out, be sure it is in a container with a lid and tightly closed, as far back on the counter as possible. Try gating off the area so they can’t get on the counter when you aren’t able to watch them. When you are working in the kitchen, you could try having your dog hang out in the kitchen with you and reward them when they are behaving. Q: I’m worried that my dog doesn’t get enough activity and is bored while I’m at work all day. I’d like her to get more exercise, any suggestions? A: There are definitely options out there — doggy daycare, a dog walker or a friend or relative that could play with or walk the dog while you’re at work. Check with friends and co-workers to see if they have any suggestions. Depending on your budget and how many times a week you’d like to do this, you can find a way that works for you both.

Tags: behavior, cold, daycare, dog, pet


Jill Bailey

Jill Bailey is the Media Specialist at M3 Group by day, by night she is helping train dogs for Canine Coaches! Having a life-long love of dogs, Jill decided to get her training certification in 2012. Visit for more information.

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