To protect your pet during the cold winter months, please follow these safety tips:
Keep an eye on the temperature. When it falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, you’ll need to keep
all of your pets indoors. Shorthaired dogs, cats and puppies should be kept indoors when the
temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep your pet’s coat well groomed. Matted fur won’t properly protect your pet from the cold.
Check your garage and driveway for antifreeze and other chemicals. Antifreeze tastes sweet to
pets, but most brands are very poisonous if consumed and can be fatal. Should your pet ingest
any amount of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately. Consider using a pet-safe antifreeze.
Regularly check your pet’s water to make sure it isn’t frozen. When your pet is outside, make sure
there is plenty of fresh drinking water available. Animals can’t burn calories without a fresh supply
of water and if they can’t burn calories, they can’t keep warm. Also, use a tip-resistant, ceramic
or hard plastic water bowl rather than a metal one, as your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to
Use a damp towel to wipe your pet’s feet and underside. Ice-melting chemicals can irritate and
burn the pads of your pet’s feet and will cause serious injury if ingested. Another way to protect
your dog’s feet is to spray the pads of their feet with cooking spray or you can purchase boots for
Provide a dry, draft-free doghouse if you must keep your dog outside for any period of time. It
should be large enough to allow your dog to sit and lay down comfortably, but small enough to
hold in his body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with
cedar shavings or straw. The doghouse should be turned to face away from the wind and the
doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Get into the habit of slapping the hood of your vehicle before starting it. In their search to keep
warm outdoors, cats often take refuge next to a warm car engine or tire.
Keep snow from piling high next to your fence. A packed snowdrift will provide a boost for your
dog to jump over the fence and escape the safe confines of your yard.
Consider the amount of exercise your dog receives during colder weather. If your dog stays
indoors more, he’s probably getting less exercise and may need less food; however, if your pet is
outside often he may need more food to burn the calories necessary to produce more body
.. 2003 Dumb Friends League. All Rights Reserved.
Keeping Your Pet Safe from Winter Woes