Friday, January 16, 2015

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather

Keep pets indoors and warm

The best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.

Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops

During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, wind chill can threaten a pet's life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

Help neighborhood outdoor cats 

If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people, and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It's easy to give them a hand.

Give your pets plenty of food and water 

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet's water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars 

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

Protect paws from salt 

The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

Avoid antifreeze poisoning 

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold

If you encounter a pet left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff's office and present your evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied.




  1. this is just fa bolus, i am really want to appreciate your blog Lost and found

  2. I agree that pets shouldn't be left outdoors when temperatures drop. The cold can be pretty brutal for any pet. I've met people in the past that think that certain animals would be fine staying outside because that's what they're bred for. Even if that's the case, there will be serious problems if left outside for too long.
    Keara |

  3. My grandpa has three cats. He treats them like his own family. Last time I saw him, one of his cats was really sick. I could tell my grandpa was worried. I wonder if he knew about some animal hospital in town. I felt so bad for him, I wish I could help him more.

  4. Thank you for the great information on keeping my pets safe during the winter months. We have small Yorkie that is always cold in the winter. Because he does not like to go outside we find that he has started peeing in the house. When we try to put a coat on him he hates that too. Any thoughts on how to help alleviate this problem?

  5. thanks a lot for sharing such a incredible post with us. Lost and found

  6. To learn how to become a veterinarian, is a good place to start!

  7. Thank you for this advice. My son just brought home a dog and after a lot of begging and pleading, I agreed to let him keep it. I don't know how long it has been out in the cold and I want to make sure that it's okay. Should I take it to an animal hospital?

    Susan Hirst |

  8. I'd agree that it's really important to make sure that your animals are protected from the cold weather. It's just so easy for those little guys to get sick during the winter. That's why I've got a few sweat shirts for my short haired dog.

  9. I have two dogs that are a big part of my family, and we try to keep them indoors during the winter. It gets a little frustrating because my wife doesn't like the mess they make, nor the smell they bring, but we realized, like you said, that it's dangerous to keep them outdoors when the temperature drops. When we do have them outside we turn on the little heater in their dog house so they have somewhere to warm up when they're cold. We wouldn't want to have a scary trip to the animal hospital if they froze.

  10. A lot of people would agree with you that you need to keep your pet safe during the winter and cold heather. That way you can keep them from getting sick and from needing to take them to an animal hospital. They too can get colds and sick in general just like we can and when they do, you need to get them the help that they need and deserve. Plus, it is also just a good idea to take them in and get them check ups as well.

  11. My dog is a pretty big baby and doesn't even like going outside when there is snow on the ground. He doesn't seem to care for cold weather at all. Maybe he would be a little more okay with it if I got him some warmer attire to wear outside.

  12. It is so important to take good care of your pets when it is cold outside. You need to make sure that they don't get sick. A good way to do this is to take them in for check ups regularly.

  13. I think it's a good idea to take care of your animals in the cold seasons. I feel bad that there are animals outside that are suffering. Animal control needs to find those and help them. Maybe I should try and volunteer at my shelter.

  14. I've always loved animals and it would be great to help them by being a veterinarian. There was one time where I saw a little dog out in the cold like this and I had to help it. It is just in my nature to help animals. I'm going to look at the schooling that it will take to become a veterinarian.