How to Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter: Cold Weather Tips

beagle running with toy on his mouth

As summer gives way to winter, you have to prepare not just your home and car but also your pets for the season. There’s a common but alarming view that animals are hardy enough to stay safe and sound outdoors, even during cold weather. That’s a myth. Regardless of the breed, your pet is not immune to the freezing temperatures. They need suitable shelter and insulation. Here are a few cold weather tips to keep your pets safe this winter:

  • Keep Your Pet Indoors. Exposure to cold temperatures for prolonged periods can put your pet at risk of hypothermia or frostbite. If you see your furbaby shivering, it’s an obvious sign that they are cold. Every pet is different. But smaller breeds and those with little to no hair need extra attention. They are most defenseless against these elements outside. Also, see to it that they have a warm place to sleep inside your home. If it’s cold for you, it’s definitely cold for your beloved companion too. Lastly, keep them active with indoor activities.

  • Take Care of Their Paws. During the colder months, your pet’s paws can take a beating with all the ice, snow, and salt de-icers on the sidewalk. You must protect their paw pads with durable booties to keep their paws covered. If you don’t have dog booties, it’s highly advisable to rub some organic paw balm on your pet’s paws before taking them out for a walk. This way, you can reduce the risk of dry skin and damage rock salt can cause. Keeping a towel on hand is also great. So, you can wipe down the ice, salt, and other residues in their paws after a walk. During cold weather, you have to keep walks short for your pet. Finally, don’t forget to keep them warm and cozy with a coat, sweater, or jacket.

  • Pay Attention to Dangers Outdoors. Keep your pet away from frozen bodies of water, especially if it won’t be able to support Fido’s weight. Also, pet owners lose more dogs during wintertime compared to any other season. This happens because pets can quickly lose their scent in snow and ice. They may also panic during a snowstorm and run away. Ensure that your pet is microchipped and always wears a collar with an identification tag.

  • Watch Out for Car Hazards. The winter chill may force outdoor cats to find warmth in dangerous places like your vehicle’s engine. It’s best to honk your horn or check the hood before starting your car. This way, you can alert any animals and allow them to leave. Also, car antifreeze has a sweet taste and scent that’s pleasant to animals. But it contains ethylene glycol, which is a compound lethal to your pets. So, store this product somewhere that your dog or cat can’t access. See to it that you immediately clean any spills too. Additionally, never leave your pet unattended in a car. The vehicle acts like a refrigerator that will steal the heat from your pet’s body, causing hypothermia.

Do you want to learn more about how you can better protect your four-legged best friend this season? Meet our team at Bridge Park Animal Hospital in Johns Creek, Georgia. Call us now at (470) 768-8755 for more information.