As we brace for the cold, here are some winter pet safety tips to help you keep your pet healthy and comfortable!

1. Even if your pet is used to being outdoors, it can still get frostbite and hypothermia.  If it is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet. Use common sense and limit outdoor time in severe weather. Use a waterproof coat to keep your pet warm and dry if you are outdoors for any time period. Frostbite is most common on ear tips and feet – so keep them protected!

2. Feet suffer in the winter! Be sure to wipe your pet’s paws and dry them immediately after coming in from outside. Snow and ice can get stuck in between toes and create pain and inflammation. Pet boots can be a dog’s best friend when exercising in the cold, snow and ice. Be sure you use pet-friendly Ice-Melting crystals – salt and chemical options to melt ice and snow can really harm your pet’s feet. A good pet-friendly option is https://safepaw.com/.  

3. Outdoor pets need warm shelter and a source of water. Don’t forget to add bedding to dog houses and cat shelters and be sure that your outdoor pet has constant access to fresh, unfrozen water. Cats often will search for warm places to sleep, and this includes under the hood of your car! Always make noise and thump the hood of your car each time before you start it to startle any ‘guests’ that may have made your engine a warm hiding place.

4. Employ a no-pet safety zone around fireplaces, stoves and space-heaters! Pets can become injured and develop thermal burns if they lie too close to indoor heating elements. Cats will jump on top of hot portable units and easily burn their paws. Pets suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning just like humans – so keep your carbon monoxide alarms up to date and powered with fresh batteries!