10 Cold Weather Safety Tips for Pets

1. Know your dog’s limits

  • Certain dogs are more sensitive to the cold than others. It is important to adjust the length of time that short-coated, thin, elderly, and very young dogs are outside because they get cold more quickly. A great option for dogs who enjoy being outside is to purchase a sweater or coat for them to stay warm. Hypothermia and frostbite cause major risks to dogs – a great rule of thumb to follow is if it’s too cold for you, then it’s most likely too cold for your dog!

  • Here are some coat & sweater options found on Amazon:

  • This coat is waterproof & windproof and is reversible.

  • Sizing & pricing – Extra Small ($9.99), Small ($13.99), Medium ($14.99), Large ($15.99), X-Large ($19.99), XX-Large ($20.99), and XXX-Large ($22.99)

  • Here is a fleece hoodie that is windproof. This is a great option for those with big dogs as it comes in a variety of sizes.

  • Pricing & sizing – Small ($16.99), Medium ($17.99), Large ($18.99), X-Large ($20.99), XX-Large ($22.99) 4X-Large ($24.99), and 5X-Large ($26.99)

2. Check under car hoods

  • In order to keep warm, it is extremely common for cats to sleep in the wheel wells of cars. If a cat is sleeping on your tire and you start your car, they can be severely injured or even killed by moving engine parts. In order to prevent this, before starting your car, bang on your hood or honk the horn. This will cause the cat to wake up and give it an opportunity to escape before the car starts.

3. Wipe their paws

  • Salt, antifreeze, and de-icers are used frequently in the winter months and your dog’s paws can pick up these toxic chemicals during walks. When you return home from a walk, make sure to wipe their paws to prevent them from licking it off and becoming ill. If you want to be extra cautious, purchase de-icers that are pet safe. One final point is to check for signs of injury, like cracked or bleeding paws.

4. Keep them on a leash

  • Snowfall is known to disguise recognizable scents. This causes more pets to become lost in winter than any other season because they cannot sniff out scents that would normally help them find their way home. Make sure to always have your dog leashed on walks to help prevent them from becoming lost. In case you would happen to become separated from your pet, it’s important to have up-to-date contact information on their collar and to be microchipped.

5. Stay away from the ice

  • Avoid frozen lakes and ponds when walking your dog. They could become seriously injured or worse yet, even killed, if the ice breaks.

6. Leave them at home