Winter: Pets

snowflake Pets should be kept indoors during winter months.

If a pet is outdoors, by law, it must be provided with shelter. The pet’s house should be elevated off the ground to prevent moisture accumulation and have a door of some kind to keep out winter winds, sleet and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated. In severely cold or inclement weather, no pet should be kept outside.

Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft-free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor. For bedding, use hay or other non-absorbent materials that will remain dry during inclement weather.

Other tips to keep pets safe include:

  • Don’t let dogs off their leash or they may get lost and suffer from cold-weather related problems.

  • Snow and salt should be removed from pets’ paws immediately to avoid burning the paw pads. Use a pet-safe de-icing salt.

  • Frostbitten skin is red or gray. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care.

  • Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm so feed your pet a little more during cold winter months.

  • Be sure your pet’s water doesn’t freeze while outdoors by using a heated water source.

  • Cats, house pets and wildlife may climb onto vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any animals seeking shelter inside.

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