How to keep pets safe in winter weather

girl walkking her dog in winterThe arrival of cooler temperatures sparks various changes. Chilly air and precipitation can be dangerous, especially to pets that are unaccustomed to extreme changes in temperature.

Pet owners may be well aware of the hazards of warm weather, including the threat of leaving pets in hot cars. But cold weather also has its share of risks. Heed these tips to keep pets safe and secure.

Update identification and contact information

Snow and ice can mask scent cues that help pets find their way home. Update contact information and make sure pets’ collars are on tightly.

Keep coolant and antifreeze locked away

Coolant and antifreeze are lethal to dogs and cats and should be kept out of reach. Clean up any spills from vehicles promptly.

Provide fresh food and water

Pets may burn more calories trying to stay warm. Be sure the animal has a little extra food and plenty of water to stay sated and hydrated.

puppy outside playing in snow

Schedule a well visit

The Veterinary Medical Association suggests scheduling a visit with a veterinarian to check for any medical issues. Cold weather can aggravate symptoms of certain conditions, such as arthritis. A thorough examination can shed light on potential problems.

Keep pets indoors more often

Pets should not remain outdoors for long stretches of time in frigid temperatures, even if they are accustomed to roaming during other seasons, advises The Humane Society.

Keep homes humidified

Going in and out of the house and moving from cold air to dry indoor heat can affect pets’ skin. Itching and flaking may result, causing pets to scratch at such areas. Maintain humidity in the home for comfort. The ASPCA also says to reduce bathing to help preserve essential oils on the skin.

dog wearing a winter coat

Protect paws outdoors

Pet paws are sensitive to sand, ice, snow, and chemical ice melts. Massage petroleum jelly or another protectant onto paw pads, or consider the use of pet booties.

Provide options for sleeping

Come the winter, cats and dogs may need new sleep spaces to avoid drafts and stay warm. Give them other spots they can call their own.

orange kitten wearing a sweaterConsider a sweater or vest

Some pets are more tolerant to the cold than others. However, some dogs and cats may benefit from a sweater, vest or coat designed for pets to offer a little more insulation.

Winter weather requires pets owners to make changes so pets can remain happy and safe.

Author: Lifestyles Author

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