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Winter Safety For Your Pet

Posted by: Mira Roberts
Cute dog on chair

The winter months make for brisk temperatures outdoors that can be harmful to your pet if you don't take proper precautions. Even if your pet spends most of their time indoors, if you take your pet outdoors even for small periods of time, it is important to know how to keep them safe from the harsh elements of winter. 

As your pet's owner, you're their first and most important defense against illness, frostbite or accidental poisoning. Practicing proper winter safety habits will help your pet to enjoy a long, cozy winter cuddled up and healthy at home. 

Remember that if you're having a hard time staying warm outside, so is your pet. Here are 5 winter safety tips to keep you both feeling your best.

Indoors is Best
When temperatures turn frigid, exercise caution and just keep your pet indoors. We know most dogs must head outdoors for bathroom breaks and for exercise, but try to keep time spent outdoors to a minimum. In cold or icy conditions, your pet is as susceptible to cold weather hazards as you are, so keep him inside, safe and warm until temps rise above freezing.

Take Care in the Car
You may love to take your pup with you on errands, out to visit friends or even to work with you in winter, but remember to use your best judgment on particularly cold days. Do not leave your pet unattended in a cold car for any period of time, even if you think you'll be running inside a store for just a few minutes. When temperatures dip below freezing, your pet is at risk of hypothermia and frostbite, and these frightening conditions can set in quickly. 

Dress for Cold
When you need to take your pup out for a good romp in the windy air, make sure to bundle him up in a sweater or weatherproof jacket that will keep him warm, especially around his belly or exposed body parts. His coat may be thick, but in cold weather, it won't be thick enough. Bundle up your pet as you would yourself, and keep both of you feeling warm on your winter walk.

Watch for Salt on Paws
Watch out for rock salt or other chemicals used to melt ice or snow on sidewalks, as these can irritate the pads on your pet's paws. Make sure to wipe down their feet after heading out for a walk, and try to avoid walking on or near icy sidewalks or roads. Stick to grassy areas, and keep walks short when ice has hit the ground to avoid dealing with unnecessary irritation or injury to your pet or yourself.

Anti-Freeze Safety
If you keep anti-freeze on hand during the winter months, make sure that you keep it out of reach of your pet. Pets can be drawn to its sweet smell, but antifreeze can be a deadly poison when ingested. If you use anti-freeze outdoors, make sure to wipe any spills and keep all chemicals or potentially toxic products away from your pets at all times. 

Filed Under: Life in York County

About the Author
Mira Roberts Gravatar
Mira Roberts

Mira Roberts studied writing at New York University, graduating with a BA in English Literature before pursuing a career in media, marketing and management with PARADE Magazine, Portfolio Magazine, AltDaily, skirt! and lululemon athletica. A full time mother, writing instructor and part-time freelance writer, Mira lives and laughs with her family in Norfolk, VA. 


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