Tips for Cold Weather Pet Safety

Like it or not, winter is upon us! Cold weather will be here for a while. Is your pet prepared? Use these tips from an Anderson, IN veterinarian to make sure your animal friend stays safe, happy, and warm as we batten down the hatches for the winter months. 

Keep pets inside. 

Rule number one for cold weather safety: don’t leave your pet outdoors for long stretches of time. That’s an easy way to risk deadly hypothermia and frostbite. Just because your pet is wearing a coat of fur doesn’t mean they won’t get cold! Take your pet out for quick bathroom breaks or brief play sessions, and then go back inside where it’s comfortable and warm. 

Avoid icy patches. 

If you’re walking your pet outdoors, do your best to avoid icy patches. Not only could you or your pet slip and fall, ice is often treated with ice-melt chemicals or road salt, both of which could harm your pet. It’s easy for your pet to track these substances indoors on their paws and lick them off later—to be safe, wipe your pet’s paws and limbs off with a clean towel when you get back indoors. 

Consider pet clothing.

Whether they’re outdoors or inside, you might want to consider having your pet don a sweater or parka to help them stay warm. This is especially important for pets with thin, single-layered coats of fur, who have a lot more trouble staying warm. Make sure your pet is comfortable wearing clothing, though, as some pets become anxious if clothing is too tight or loose. 

Use antifreeze carefully. 

If you’re adding antifreeze to your car’s engine this winter, do so carefully and make sure your pet isn’t around. Antifreeze can contain ethylene glycol, a toxic alcohol that can poison pets easily. Make sure to clean up any spills in the driveway or garage immediately, and store antifreeze safely where pets can’t reach.

Stock up for winter storms.

If a severe winter storm forces you to stay home for a few days, or even weeks, at a time, you’ll want to have a stash of pet food and other essential supplies. That way, you’ll have everything your pet needs on hand until the weather improves. 

Does your pet need a veterinary checkup before the coldest days of the year arrive? Call your Anderson, IN veterinary clinic to get started. We’re here to help!

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