Collies are a robust breed but it’s important to prevent them from freezing and to take care of their paws. And for a rheumatic dog it’s extremely important to not being cold.  A coat can be great to prevent her/him from getting cold and stiffer.

I train my Collies, and when they have to lay in the car waiting for their training-session – all three of them are having their coats on in winter-months/cold months.  I use a coat called Back-On-Track.  This type prevent them from getting their muscles cold.

Little Heike-mother
From left Little Heike-mother, TengelMan, Wild Villemo

Be careful when you are walking your dog in areas where there are frozen lakes.  Dog’s don’t know of “thin ice” and if they fall in, it is difficult for them to climb out.  Which can result in hypothermia a life-threatening danger. "Ice skating" dogs are prone to injuries such as cruciate tears if they are allowed to "skate" with their humans. This is also true of icy walks. So it’s smart to be careful.

When walking your dog in areas where there can be antifreeze, be very careful not to let the dog lick the snow or unknown liquids. Thirsty and curious pets will lap up antifreeze. Just a few licks can be fatal. Lock up antifreeze containers and clean up spills immediately.

Paws should be taken extra special care of in the winter-months. 

Dogs that are walking in snowy areas may get large ice balls

between their pads, causing them to limp. Be sure to keep ice

clear from this area. For dogs that have a lot of hair between

the pads, keeping it clipped shorter will help with ice ball

formation. A salve is superb to use on the pads before going

out, that can also prevent them from getting ice between

their pads/toes, but only use a salve that’s ok for dogs as

they lick their feet.

Some dogs also – when it’s very cold – holding up their paws.   

They get a type of cramp.  Take the paw in your hand and

warm it carefully, and the cramp will disappear very quickly. 

It’s not dangerous for the dog, but it’s very uncomfortable.

Dogs who walk on sidewalks that have been “salted” are

prone to dry, chapped, and potentially painful paws.

This will encourage the pet to lick their paws, and ingestion

may cause gastrointestinal irritation and upset. Wash off

your pet's feet after an outing with a warm wet cloth or footbath.  Also use a salve before you get out to prevent the dog from the “salted” roads.

Also keep the nails short.

My Collies use booties when it’s snow, to prevent them from being injured and getting snow between their toes.  The same type of booties that mushers use on their sled-dogs.  They are superb, great on the paw and do not fell off

Sometimes the pads are getting injured, from stepping on items obscured by snow, sharp edges on ice, and sometimes from snow toys and implements used to remove snow. First aid treatment is to gently cleanse the wound with warm water and a mild soap, and apply pressure to stop bleeding. Paw pads are very thick and slow to heal, deep cuts to the paw pads usually require sutures for proper healing.

A superb salve to always have in the house is Calendula, the natures own antibiotics.  I have used that ointment/salve for years when there have been something with my Collies pads or other injuries

From left Little Heike-mother, TengelMan
From left TengelMan, Little Heike-mother

Happy Collies with their booties on

If a dog is spending time in the yard with a doghouse, the doghouse has of course be insulated and dry