Winter Safety Tips for Pets
Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Some dogs are more susceptible to the cold than others. Short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dogs get cold more quickly – so adjust the amount of time they stay outside!Keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet as soon as he comes inside, paying special attention to his feet and in-between the toes. Remove any snow balls from between his foot pads.
In the cold winter, outdoor cats in the area may find the engine block under the warm hood of your car to be a great spot to snooze.If you start your car and a cat is sleeping on your tire, it can be severely hurt or even killed by moving engine parts. Prevent injuries by banging loudly on your hood or honking the horn before starting your car. This will wake up the cat and give it a chance to escape before starting the car.We all know that hot cars pose a threat to pets, but cold cars are dangerous as well. It can act as a refrigerator in cold weather and can rapidly chill your pet. Animals that are young, old, ill or thin are particularly susceptible to the cold and shouldn't be left in a cold car.
More pets become lost in the winter than any other season because snowfall can disguise recognizable scents that would normally help them find their way home. Prevent your pets from becoming lost by keeping dogs leashed on walks and, just in case you are separated from your pets, make sure their collars have up-to-date contact information and they are microchipped.
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Feed them well
Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. While we all indulge during the winter season, that little extra weight on your pet has negative health risks associated with it, including heart disease and high blood pressure. Keep an eye out on their weight throughout the season. If they are outdoor pets or are getting exercise outside, they will need more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm.Avoid standing water. Standing water, like puddles or lakes, can give your pet digestive issues and may even carry parasites or toxins. When outdoors, make sure your pets don’t take a drink of any standing water and remember to bring fresh, clean water for your pet.
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Keeping walkways walkable and driveways drivable in the winter often requires the use of salt or chemical de-icers which are poisonous to pets.Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Try to avoid contact with de-icers when with your pet, and wipe them down with a wet towel then completely dry them off after outside play to remove any chemicals they could’ve come in contact with. Remember, if you’re putting antifreeze in your car, use a pet-friendly or propylene glycol option. Wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately and keep it, like all household chemicals, out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.Dogs are at particular risk of salt poisoning in winter due to the rock salt used in many areas—often when licking it from their paws after a walk. Store de-icing salt in a safe place and wipe your dog’s paws, even after short walks.
Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet!
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*We hope to give you better ideas for your pet, but this information is not meant to be a substitute for veterinary care. Always follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian. If your pet feels bad, please take it to the veterinarian in time.