Don't drop the ball when the temperature drops. Use these easy tips to keep your pet warm and safe during the chilly winter months.
Don't forget to provide adequate shelter and snacks
Remember that Pets need adequate shelter from wind and rain when the temperatures drop. Older, chronically ill or debilitated Pets may have more difficulty during cold weather. While the best course of action is to leave your Pet inside during cold weather, if you must leave your Pet outdoors, increase his or her food intake. When Pets are exposed to cold weather, they require extra calories to stay warm.
Freezing temps call for a slumber party - Bring in the doggies!
Pets are safer indoors in freezing weather. Dogs need outside exercise but only for limited periods – be attentive to body temperature and limit time outdoors, especially to prevent frostbite on ears and feet. If you suspect frostbite, seek veterinary attention.
An icy water bowl is no fun for anyone
Cold temperatures can freeze drinking water left outdoors. Your Pet can also damage his or her paws trying to break through icy surfaces. In freezing temperatures, you need to check the water frequently or purchase a heater for your Pet's water bowl.
Antifreeze, the attractive nuisance
Regular antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is attractive to Pets because it has a sweet taste. Even in very small quantities, the ingestion of antifreeze can be fatal. Licking antifreeze off the floor of the garage is enough to be dangerous. Check your car for coolant leaks and clean up spilled antifreeze immediately. Optimally, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol, which won't hurt Pets, wildlife or family members.
Check for chilly kitties before starting your engine
Cats may climb onto vehicle engines seeking warmth during cold weather. Severe, sometimes fatal injuries can result from being struck by a moving fan belt. Be sure to knock on or check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any Pets who may have sought shelter underneath your vehicle.
Pet-friendly de-icing is a must
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice may irritate the pads of your Pet's feet. Wipe the feet with a damp towel every time when coming in from outdoors – even if you don't see salt on the walkways. Many pet stores sells a pet-friendly de-icing product that is safe for use around Pets or young children.
Indoor Pets may need some extra monitoring too
Some Pets, such as reptiles or tropical fish may be temperature-sensitive to cold air. Pay attention to room temperatures to ensure that these Pets don't get chilled. Also, bundle up your babies if they are cold. Remember, hot air rises so your pup may get chilly. Put a sweater on him, or give him an extra blankie for those cold nights!