Keeping Your Pet Safe during the Winter Months

29. December, 2015

Temperatures are dropping and in many areas of the country there is snow on the ground.  During this cold time of the year it is important to remember our four-legged friends and take some extra precautions to keep them safe.  At Temporary Housing Directory (THD) we know that your pets are part of your family so we have put together the following list to keep them protected this winter.

  • Keep your pets indoors- Cats and dogs should be kept inside during winter months especially as the temperatures drop. They are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they’re outside in cold weather. Exposed skin on their noses, ears and paws are especially susceptible to cold.
  • Be careful before you start your car– Warm engines attract animals to stay under your car. Before starting your vehicle make loud noises, check under the car and bang on your hood to scare any pets away.
  • Provide plenty of food and water- Pets that spend time outdoors need more food and water in the winter because keeping themselves warm depletes energy. Continuously check your pet’s food and water supply.  If water is outside make sure it is not frozen.  Use plastic food and water bowls because your pet’s tongue sticks to the bowls if they are metal.
  • Protect your dog from salt and chemicals such as antifreeze– During the winter month’s salt and antifreeze are used more often. Make sure you wipe your pet’s paws and belly after they are outdoors to prevent them from irritating their mouths from salt or being poisoned from antifreeze or other chemicals.
  • Leave your pets at home- Just like it is unsafe to leave your pets in your car during hot summer days, it is equally true in cold weather. Limit your car travel with your pets and never leave your pet unattended in your vehicle.
  • Provide Shelter- It is always recommended that your pet stay indoors during cold temperatures but if you are unable to keep them inside provide them with warm shelter that is solid and protected from the wind. The shelter floor should be off the ground and bedding should be provided that is thick and comfortable.  The doors of the shelters should be positioned away from winds.
  • Be prepared- cold weather brings the risk of severe weather storms and power outages. Make sure you prepare an emergency kit for your pet that includes food, water and medicine on hand that will get them through at least 5 days.