Cold winter weather brings a whole new set of dangers for our pet’s health and safety. Being aware of some of the hazards unique to this time of year helps us to keep our pets safe and sound no matter how far down the temperatures go. Check out these winter weather health and safety considerations for your pet.

Did You Know…

  • Dogs can lose their scent in the snow. A dog that panics off leash in a snowstorm may not be able to find its way home. Keep your dog leashed when in the snow and make sure that he or she is wearing identification.
  • Salt products that are commonly used melt ice can be very irritating to your pet’s paws. And some are even toxic to pets. Use pet-friendly ice melting products for your property and be sure to wipe your pet’s feet and underside after coming in from outdoors.
  • Anti-freeze is lethal to pets even in tiny amounts. This sweet tasting liquid contains ethylene glycol. Ingestion, even seemingly insignificant amounts, causes rapid kidney failure. Use a pet-safe alternative for your own vehicle and be sure to fix leaks and clean up spills immediately. Notify your neighbors if you notice that they have a leak.
  • The engine block of your car is the warm bed of choice for many cold kitties. Chilly cats seeking refuge from the cold may become caught in your belts if you start your engine before they move. If you do not park in a garage, bang on the hood of your car to scare off any stowaways before starting your engine to avoid any injuries.
  • Despite a heavy coat, pets can get frostbite. While many pets do have a significant coat, they should spend minimal time outdoors when the temperatures dip below freezing. Thinner coated pets might appreciate a warm coat and booties for those potty breaks outside. Cats are probably best kept indoors as their risk of injury or death increases significantly when the temperatures plummet. Very young or elderly animals may not tolerate the chilly weather as well, and should be given special care.