Winter Weather Tips

Winter is now in full swing. The cold is here, and it’s not going anywhere for a few more weeks. So what does this mean for your pet? What safety precautions should you take? Here are five tips to help make everyone more comfortable and safe during the winter.

Keep pets indoors when it’s frigid outside
Just like people, pets have different tolerances. If it’s too cold out for you though, it’s probably too cold out for your pet. If you have to go outside, there are different sweaters available which can help keep them warmer, but even the toughest dog can get too cold despite all their fur and human intervention.

Wipe down after walks
Melted ice and salt can irritate a pet’s legs and paws. Check between the toes for any ice buildup. Trimming some of the hair between the toes can help as well.

Keep pets away from bodies of water
This goes for both you and your pet; Ice can be thin and extremely dangerous! There is a real risk of drowning and if your pet does get out hypothermia is a real risk as well.

Make noise when starting your car
Cats, but also other wildlife, like the warmth provided by your car engine. Knock on your hood or honk your horn before starting the engine to help scare any critters away

Be aware of common toxins
Antifreeze is potentially fatal, and care should be taken to keep it away from any pets and clean up any spills found on your car immediately. As mentioned above, wiping down your pets after a walk will help wipe off any salt or chemical de-icers they may have walked in.

Written by Dr. David Baker, DVM