Oh, the weather outside is frightful…and Jack Frost may be nipping at your nose! Cold weather can be just as harmful to your pets as warm weather. Just like you wouldn’t want to leave your pet in a hot car in the middle of summer, there are winter safety tips you should follow, as well.
First, you want to make sure your canine friend still gets enough exercise during the winter months as he or she does during the warmer parts of the year. A tired dog is a good dog. So even if you or your furry pal doesn’t like walking in the cold, you could arrange a play date with a friend, play strategy games in the house, or book a day of doggie day care to ensure your dog works off all of his or her energy.
A common misconception is that animals are fine outside in the cold because they have fur that protects them. However, unless your dog is a husky or other breed bred for the cold, this is untrue. Dogs and cats can get frostbite and hypothermia, just like humans. Consider a sweater or coat and booties for your dog if there is snow on the ground. Or come down to Paw Paws USA and buy your dog a fleece jacket!
A car in freezing temperatures is just as deadly as a car in hot temperatures. It gets cold quickly and becomes a refrigerator. Do not ever leave your pet unattended in a vehicle. If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious or weak, or starts looking for a place to burrow, get them back inside quickly. These are signs of hypothermia and your pet should be looked at by a veterinarian.
Lastly, there are hazards outside during the winter that do not exist in warmer weather. During walks, your dog may pick up deicer chemicals, antifreeze, or rock salt; all of which are toxic. Make sure to wipe down or wash your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk of being poisoned after your pet licks them off. Also, cats like to hide in the wheel wells or underneath cars. Make noise when you get into your car by knocking on the hood, and check underneath before starting your vehicle.
Follow these winter safety tips so you and your furry companion can have fun, wonderful winter and a happy new year!