Cold Weather Pet Safety

Lola-SnowWinter in Colorado is marked by days of cold and lots of snow. Here are a few tips to make sure your four-footed family members stay safe and warm during this time of year:

  • The simplest way to protect your pet from weather-related injuries is to limit their time spent outdoors when temperatures dip. Exposure to freezing temperatures can cause frostbite, which commonly affects the ears, tail and paws (especially the toes/pads). Remember, if you are cold and ready to go inside, your pet probably is, too!
  • Warm engines in parked cars can attract cats and other small animals that may crawl under the hood to keep warm. Always bang your hood or honk your horn before starting your car to avoid injury of any animals hiding underneath.
  • Salt and other snow-melting chemicals are very harmful to pets if ingested.  Be sure to use pet-friendly ice melts that are available at many pet supply stores. If you walk your pet on pavement that may be treated with chemicals, wipe their feet thoroughly when getting back inside.
  • Dogs’ sense of smell can be diminished in snow, making it easier for them to become lost. Keep dogs leashed or in fenced yards, and always keep them dressed with a collar, license and ID tag. Have your pet implanted with a microchip for added protection. Click here to learn more about microchips.
  • Keep your dog on a leash to prevent them from running onto thin ice on creeks, ponds and lakes. Pulling a struggling dog from a hole in the ice can also put you in danger of falling in.
  • Refrain from taking your dog in the car with you when you run errands in bitter cold temperatures. Just as a car can act as an oven during summer months, it can also act as a freezer in the cold and can sometimes be as frigid as being outside in the weather.
  • Antifreeze is a poisonous toxin, but it tastes sweet and often attracts animals. Be sure to clean up any spills. To be extra safe, do not leave a pet unattended in a garage or driveway.

Learn more by visiting these helpful sites:

ASPCA

American Humane Association