Winter Weather Pet Safety Tips
I recommend investing in warm weather apparel for those times when your pet has to go outside for a walk or playtime.
2. Protect their paws
As every pet parent knows, your pet’s paws pick up all kinds of stuff. Unfortunately, that can include dangerous chemicals. During winter, it’s common to find salt, de-icing chemicals, and antifreeze on the ground. Booties not only protect your pet’s feet from the cold, they also prevent them from coming into contact with salt and other winter chemicals that can be irritating to their paws and harmful or even deadly if licked and ingested. If your pets are not wearing booties when they go outside, be sure to wipe your pet’s paws (with soap and water or pet wipes) immediately after they come inside to prevent them from licking and ingesting any dangerous chemicals and keep them from tracking these around the house.
3. Keep chemicals safely out of reach
Keep antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol, out of reach of pets (and children). Ethylene glycol has a sweet aroma and taste that can attract animals. Unfortunately, it can lead to kidney failure and can be fatal if ingested. Ideally use only pet-friendly antifreeze. Pet-friendly anti-freeze is made from propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. This less toxic alternative is available online and at many automotive stores. Likewise, keep all de-icing chemicals safely out of reach of curious pets.
4. Check under the hood
Most people have heard of rodents getting caught in car engines, but did you know that cats occasionally get stuck under hoods too? This happens because outdoor cats hide under cars in order to stay warm on cold nights. Sometimes they will climb under the hood to seek shelter. Unfortunately, this is not a safe place for cats. When unsuspecting car owners turn on their ignition, the moving belts can injure, maim, or kill the cat. To help prevent cats and other animals in your neighborhood from getting under your hood, consider the following tips. Whenever possible, park your car in your garage. Honk your horn or tap on the hood before starting your car to scare away any hitchhikers. Likewise, slam your car door and make noise to give the animal a chance to get away. The goal is to make noise so any sleeping animals have a chance to scurry off.
5. Be prepared for emergencies with proper ID and disaster kits
A big winter storms can sometimes lead to a power outage. While we can’t predict emergencies, we can be prepared. The first thing you need to do is to make sure all of your pets have proper identification. Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag with your phone number. Having a collar and ID tag improves the odds that your lost pet will be reunited with you. Unfortunately, collars and tags are not fool proof. Your pet should also have a microchip so that even if they lose their collar, the microchip will identify your pet. Finally, be sure to have a disaster kit for yourself and your pets. The disaster kit should be easily accessible and should include a supply of food, water, treats, toys and a first aid kit. For more information on making a disaster kit, read my blog on how to prepare for emergencies.
Follow these tips to help keep your pet safe and warm during this winter.