As plush and soft as it is, fur is not a perfect insulator and does not prevent frostbite or hypothermia. Pets require protection from extreme temperatures, which includes warm, dry, draft-free refuge; plenty of food; and lots of water. Here are some basic guidelines to keep your pet safe and happy all winter.

  • Ensure your pet has had all preventative shots, and the vet has given your pet a clean bill of health.
  • Snow, cold and ice can cover scents, making it difficult for animals to find their way back home. Ensure that your pet has a well-fitting collar, current tag, and microchip.
  • Give your pet plenty of supervised exercise in the cold, but in frigid temperatures, shorten their walks, and outside playtime. Try to walk your pet in the late morning or early afternoon when temperatures are a little warmer.
  • Check your pet’s paws for signs of cold-weather injuries or damage, ice stuck between toes, or cracked paws.
  • Colder weather brings anti-freeze and deicers on the streets, which are toxic to your pet. Wipe down your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove these chemicals.
  • Antifreeze tastes sweet, and some pets cannot resist it. Keep this poisonous substance tightly sealed, and away from pets.
  • Always check underneath your car and hit the hood before starting to make sure no animals have found your engine as a warm nesting spot.
  • You and your pet should spend as much time as you can outdoors when the sun is shining. You’ll both benefit from the extra dose of Vitamin D.
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