🐾 Lifestyle

Winter Weather Safety for Dogs and Pets

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February 17, 2021

Key Takeaways

Many people worry about their pets during the hot summer months. Rightfully so; the hot summer temperatures can be deadly to pets. However, the winter months can be just as dangerous. The following winter weather safety tips will help you keep your pets safe and healthy this winter.

#1 Keep Your Dogs and Cats Inside

Cats love to snuggle up in warm places when they’re allowed outside. This often means they find the wheel well or hood of a car. An unsuspecting car owner can kill a cat with the turn of their ignition key. And the sub-zero temperatures can cause small animals to become hypothermic quickly. Make sure all pets have a warm and safe place to get in from the elements during the cold winter months.

#2 Don’t Let Your Dog Off Leash

Every year dogs get away from their owners. They wander out onto ponds with thin ice and fall in. And because the cold weather masks their scent, the APSCA reports that more dogs get lost during the winter than any other season.

#3 Winter Wear for Your Dog

Some dogs can benefit from outerwear. Dogs with short fur and an intolerance to cold can get extra protection from a winter coat. And many dogs’ pads are extremely sensitive. Booties can help keep snow and ice from getting packed in the hair on their feet and causing pain. 

Veterinarians warn against putting a coat on your dog and letting it outside without supervision. Outerwear can become wet and tangled. And if the temperatures are particularly cold, the winter coat won't offer as much protection ad you may like.

#4 Age Matters

Old dogs and young puppies cannot regulate their body temperature very well. It’s important that they don’t stay outside too long. Make sure to keep a close eye on your pet if they’re vulnerable. 

#5 Put Away Household Chemicals

Antifreeze is deadly. Every year cats and dogs get into the garage. They’re drawn to the sweet scent of antifreeze. Just a few drops will kill a beloved pet. Keep your animals out of the garage and keep the chemicals up off the floor and put away. 

#6 Skip the Groomers

Allow your pet’s hair to grow a little longer during the winter months. The extra hair will help keep them warm. Never shave your dog to its skin. Save those haircuts for the warm weather months.

#7 Beef Up the Protein

If you have an active pet, you may want to consider adding a bit more protein to their diet. The protein will help improve your pet’s coat. It can also boost their metabolism, which in turn increases their body temperature. They’ll feel warmer and have the same amount of energy.

Pets need specific care and attention all year long. Each season brings new challenges. This winter, take care of your pets and protect them from the cold, ice, and snow.

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