10 tips to protect your pets during winter storms and extreme cold
According to the ASPCA, cold weather can be as dangerous for pets, as it is for humans. Pets have a more difficult time regulating their body temperatures and may be more susceptible to problems from extreme temperatures.
Keep your pets protected during winter storms and extreme cold with these tips:
Keep pets indoors
If left outdoors, they can get frostbite, become disorientated and get hypothermia.
- Be aware of exposure time – take dogs out only to relieve themselves. Many dogs also need boots in winter weather, regardless of coat length.
- Always walk dogs on a leash. Dogs can become disoriented or lost. Roads are often dangerous during snow conditions due to snowplow piles and ice.
- Always keep ID tags on pets, because animals can get lost during a winter storm. More pets are lost in the winter than any other time of the year, according to SPCA. Pets lose their ability to scent their way home in snow and icy conditions.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter – if your dog is long-haired, simply trim him/her. If your dog is short-haired, consider getting him/her a coat or sweater. Towel dry your pets as soon as they come inside.
- Clean your pet’s feet – salt can irritate or burn, as well as cause vomiting and even seizures. Antifreeze can be deadly if ingested.
- Bathe your pets as little as possible during cold spells – washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
- Never take your dog or cat out after a bath unless they are completely dry.
- Never leave pets unattended in the car without heat. Animals can freeze to death very quickly.
- Be careful with cats – warm vehicle engines can attract cats who may crawl under the hood. Bang on the hood or blow your horn before starting the car.
Is it too cold for you?
- Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet.
Suffolk County SPCA
Suffolk County, New York