Winter Weather Means Extra Safety Precautions for Pets
Winter is with us again, and that means freezing temperatures, ice and snow. This advice from our Lakewood vets will help your pets stay safe and warm this winter.
Winter Weather Safety Tips from Our Lakewood Veterinarian
The best place for your pets to be in winter is inside with you. If your pet must be outside, give him a dry, windproof shelter so he can have some protection from the elements.
The shelter should be just big enough for him to sit down, turn around and lie down comfortably inside. Make sure the floor of the shelter is a few inches off the ground and line it with straw or wood chips. Heaters and heating pads are a fire and burn hazard; avoid them. Put the doorway on the lee side of the shelter and cover it with thick plastic or waterproofed burlap.
Never leave your dog or cat outside unsupervised for long periods without shelter, even if he is of a cold-weather breed, like a Husky.
Pets left outside in the winter still need access to food and water. Use plastic bowls; pets’ tongues can freeze to metal ones in cold weather. Check your pet’s water often to make sure it is not frozen.
Your dog or cat can still go outside for exercise during the winter, but you will need to watch him for signs of hypothermia. Shivering, whining, apparent weakness, slowing down or stopping, apparent anxiety and burrowing are all signs that your pet is dangerously cold. Pets feel the cold as much as we do, so do not keep your pet outdoors longer than you yourself would want to be.
Pets are at an increased risk of poisoning in the winter. If you are winterizing your car, take care to keep antifreeze out of your pet’s reach; ingesting even a small amount could kill him. Wipe your pet down, especially his paws, after a walk to remove residue from de-icers, road salt and other potential toxins.
How do your pets stay warm in the winter?