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Cold Weather Safety For Pets

Winter is definitely in full swing and temperatures are regularly dipping below freezing. Do you know the best way to keep your pets safe and warm during the frigid weeks of winter? Here are some the of best cold weather safety tips that you need to help them brave the cold.

  1. Danger of Ice Melts and Rock Salts: The rock salt that is used to melt ice and snow is very hazardous for our pet’s and their paws. The chemical reaction that causes the melting can irritate and burn their pads. What’s more is that the could ingest these chemicals by licking the ground or their paws after a walk. In small amounts it could result in nausea and vomiting, but large doses are much more dangerous and even toxic.

Not all road salt is harmful to pets, If you’re not sure what type of melting element in on the ground, put booties on your pet, better safe than sorry!

Safety Tip: To keep your stairs and sidewalks safe at home, you can purchase non-toxic safe for pets ice melt to keep them from freezing.

  1.  Winter Gear: Of course most of our pets have a cold weather safety fur coats, but even still, excessive cold can cause frostbite and hypothermia. Plus, protecting pads from the cold and rock salt is very important as well.
  • Coats & Sweaters:  These work much better with dogs than cats. However when you introduce your cat to outerwear sooner than later, you’ll have more success in getting them to move with a coat on.

Safety Tip:  Don’t put a coat on them and walk away leaving to play. They could easily get tangled and injured, possibly even suffocate.

  • Booties and Shoes: Naturally, most pets will shy away from having things on their feet.

Pro-Tip: Start by buying a pack of baby socks. Have your pet wear them around the house to get used to having something their feet. Then when it’s time to go outside and it’s freezing, they’ll welcome the warm booty that protects their pads from the ice cold ground.

  1. Outdoor Shelter:  Whether your pet is indoor/outdoor or just an outdoor pet, it is imperative that they have a little shelter outside for the winter weather months. A basic shelter needs to be partially covered to protect them from the wind and precipitation. Pile up some blankets or hay to give them something to snuggle up with and they should be just fine.

It’s also important that they have access to water that isn’t frozen (or will freeze overnight). You can purchase heated bowls that will keep fresh water available for them. If their shelter is in a garage or shed, make sure there is no antifreeze or other toxic chemicals around.

Safety Tip: Anti-freeze is especially dangerous because it is sweet and some pets find it delicious, even though it is deadly. Play it safe and lock it up if your pet is outside.

  1. Potty Breaks & Walks:  If you have a lot snow, chances are your pet won’t use the potty outside.

Pro-tip: Shovel a spot out for them and putting a pee pad down to make it seem a little warmer.  Also, now that it gets darker earlier, chances are you are taking them out in the dark when you get home from work. Make sure to have a reflective leash and a flashlight if you’re walking with them after the sun goes down.  

Winter is a fun time of playing in the snow, snuggling on the couch with cocoa, reading or watching movies. And keeping warm with loved ones is one of the best parts.