Keep Your Pet Safe and Warm This Winter

Here are some tips to protect your pet when the temperature drops.

  • If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, keep it inside during the winter months.
  • During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars to keep warm. If there are outdoor cats in your neighborhood, bang loudly on your car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
  • Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and become lost.
  • Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the snow or ice. He can ingest salt or potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. If you have a short haired dog, consider getting him a coat or sweater for added warmth.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  • Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
  • Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities during the winter months? Increase his supply of food - particularly protein - to keep him in tip top shape.
  • Antifreeze is a lethal poison for pets. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.