In some areas, winter can be an icy cold abyss. While some of us in the warmer regions are still able to enjoy the outside air without being too chilly, it is important to remember our pets during the winter months. Make sure your furry friends are able to stay warm and safe during this time of year by following Protect America’s simple winter pet safety guide. In this post we will discuss some of the main concerns for keeping pets safe this holiday season.

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Winter Pet Safety

The best way to keep your pets safe this winter is to keep them inside where they will be able to stay warm from the bitter outside air. The happiest dogs are those who are frequently walked and exercised, but kept indoor the remainder of the time. If you have a breed that has short or very little hair, consider dressing them in a sweater for maximum comfort on a winter walk. Do not leave your cats and dogs outside during the winter, when the temperature drops to an uncomfortable level. Pets are very sensitive to severely cold weather and are highly at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Would you want to be left outside in the snow? Exposed noses and paws can quickly freeze in the cold, leaving permanent damage to your pet. Despite the actual temperature, leaving a pet outside in the cold can threaten their lives with windchill factor alone. If your pet must be outside for long periods of time, be sure you provide an insulated pet-house for them to take shelter in while they are in the cold. Keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family this winter.

Pets Outside

Be careful when you start your car in the cold winter months. Often times, stray or feral cats and other wild life will crawl up under the hood of people’s cars in order to shield themselves from the harsh cold. When you are leaving the house, lightly bang on the hood of your car in order to scare away any wildlife or stray kitties before you start the engine.

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If you use salt or other chemicals to keep your driveway from freezing, remember to wipe your pet’s paws after a walk. The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow can sometimes irritate the paw pads on your pet’s feet. Wiping your pet’s feet before going back inside will keep them from licking the chemicals or salt from their paws and possibly prevent them from getting sick.

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Remember to feed and water your pet if they end up spending more time outdoors in the cold. Many dogs like to run around outside. Keeping extra food and water on hand will help them stay warm since the cold can quickly deplete their energy levels in trying to stay warm. Remember to use a plastic food or water bowl. When it gets really cold, the stainless steel bowls that are generally recommended for pets can become so cold that your pet’s tongue can stick to the metal. Check if the water or wet food is frozen on a regular basis.

When walking your pet, be careful of letting them roam around on their own. Keep them on a leash instead. Beware of frozen lakes and streams. Make sure your dog always wears ID tags! Protect America cares about your safety, as well as the safety of your family and pets! We hope this festive winter guide for pets will keep you and your furry friends stay safe and warm this chilly season.