As we come into winter, it becomes important to keep our pets warm and safe.  If you take the appropriate precautions, both you and your pets can have a healthy and happy holiday season.

The top 5 winter dangers are:

  • Cold Temperatures. Do not leave your pet outside for extended periods of time, as animals can get frostbite very quickly.  Keeping cats indoors is best because they will likely crawl into dangerous places to keep warm, such as under the warm hood of your car.  Small dogs or short-haired breeds of dogs will be safer with a warm winter coat.  Just like in summer, leaving your pet in a vehicle for even a few minutes can be deadly. Your car can hold cold and become like a refrigerator, causing frostbite, or even worse, death.
  • Antifreeze Poisoning. Antifreeze is a toxic poison that has a sweet taste that attracts pets.  Clean any spills or leaks immediately, as a small amount can cause serious injury or even death.  Switching to a propylene glycol-based antifreeze its less toxic, although it can still harm pets.  If your pet gets into any type of antifreeze, call your vet or nearest animal emergency hospital immediately.
  • Salt Used For Melting Ice. Clean salt and ice from your pets’ paws and belly right away.  Salt and ice can cause your pets’ paws to become painful and irritated.  If the salt is left on your dogs paws, they will begin to lick and ingest the harmful chemicals found in salt.
  • Getting Lost. When letting your pets outside, supervise their exercise and length of time they are out. Keep their collar on whenever she is outside and make sure that your contact information is up-to-date.  If for some reason your pet does escape and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver.
  • Changing Food Needs. If your dog likes to be outside for long periods of time, make sure that they have plenty of water and extra food to help their bodies stay warmer while outside.