Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips
It seemed like winter in Cincinnati was on hold– until this weekend. Now that cold and snow seem set to stay for awhile, keep these cold weather tips in mind.
Know Your Dog’s Cold Tolerance
Some dogs, like healthy Huskies, Malamutes or Saint Bernards, thrive in winter weather (but even these cold-tolerant breeds need a warm-up break from time to time). Other dogs can quickly suffer from cold exposure, including:
- Older dogs
- Small dogs
- Immune-compromised dogs
- Dogs with short coats
These dogs need to limit how long they spend outside in the cold, and are affected by snow and ice more so than most.
Gear Up for the Weather
A dog sweater or coat makes snow more fun. And booties can protect paws from ice and de-icing chemicals. Even with winter gear on, pay attention to signs of over-exposure to cold like shivering, whimpering and holding paws up off the ground.
Stay Away from Frozen Ponds
Keep pets away from icy ponds. The ice might not be thick enough to support them, and they could fall through. Or, their fur might freeze to the ice. Both scenarios are extremely dangerous.
Use Pet-Safe De-Icers, and Watch for Antifreeze
Before buying any de-icing products, read the labels. Many products are toxic, and can cause chemical burns on pet paws or serious injury or death if ingested. Pets are likely to lick the product off their paws.
Antifreeze is toxic to ingest, but it’s also sweet and attractive to animals. Keep it safely out of reach.
After Walks, Clean Ice and Snow from Your Dog
Snow and ice have a tendency to ball up between your dog’s paw pads, around the mouth and in “arm pits.” These ice balls can be painful– and very cold!
Walk Around Your Car and Check Under the Hood
Not all kitties get to spend winter indoors. Cats and other small animals may be attracted to the warmth of a car engine and curl up for a nap. Avoid a disastrous tragedy by simply checking your car for animals before you start it.
As a General Rule, Treat Your Pet Like You Would Yourself!
If it’s too cold for you, then it’s probably too cold for your pet. Put yourself in their paws and enjoy a safe and cozy winter.