5 Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in Cold Weather
Although winter is the perfect time to snuggle up with your furry friend and keep each other warm, venturing outdoors in the freezing temperatures can expose your pet to a variety of potential dangers. Before the thermometer dips, know these winter pet safety tips and ensure your best friend stays safe and cozy all season long.
1. Manage Your Pet’s Food Intake
Just like humans, dogs and cats rely on calories for energy—and food provides the calories to fuel activities that help keep our fur friends warm, such as exercising and shivering.
Depending on your pet’s weight and coat type, the number of calories they need varies. Dogs and cats with low body fat and a thin or hairless coat may need more calories during winter to maintain their body heat. On the other paw, pets with higher fat density and a thick coat may actually need fewer calories in winter because they’re better protected from the cold and do not need to expend as much energy, according to
2. Pet-Proof Your Home
Your four-legged friend will probably spend much more time indoors once the cold weather arrives—and keeping your pet safe in winter requires some extra diligence in the new season. While potential hazards like cleaning supplies, electrical wires, houseplants, and medicines should always be kept out of reach, pay extra attention to new household items you introduce in winter. For example, keep pets away from space heaters, and always be sure the heater is off before leaving your dog or cat home alone. If you opt to warm up by a fireplace, keep a close eye that your pet doesn’t get too close, especially as embers can be unpredictable.
The season is also a prime opportunity to resupply your pet’s occupying distractions—like chew toys for dogs —to help them stay happy and busy for long periods at a time as you enjoy the season together.
If you use ice and snow melts around the outside of your house, choose pet-safe products. According to common melts like calcium chloride and sodium chloride can irritate your furry friend’s paws and may be toxic if licked.
3. Protect Your Pet’s Paws
Even in the dead of winter, dogs still need to spend some time outdoors for their daily exercise and potty routine. In the coldest climates, this means conquering icy and rough sidewalks covered with rock salt and deicing chemicals.
Our pet paw protector is a must-have cold-weather solution that creates a barrier between pups’ sensitive paw pads and the salt-treated or cold surfaces. In addition to preventing damage, Paw Guard also restores moisture to You can even place booties on your cat or dog for added protection; just be sure they’re comfortable wearing them!
Once you return inside, wipe down your pet’s paws thoroughly to remove any potential chemicals or debris.
4. Manage Outdoor Time Wisely
Acclimating dogs and cats to winter weather can help their bodies adjust to freezing temperatures. Take the proper supplies and precautions whenever you go outside together.
Before You Go Out – Make sure your pet is leashed and chipped, especially if there’s snow on the ground. Snow can mask scents familiar to your pet and make it more difficult for them to find their way home if lost. Your pet’s information should be updated and legible.
While You’re Outside – Keep outdoor trips with your four-legged friend brief. Even though their thick coat may help shield them from harsh winds and weather, your pet can still be susceptible to the cold. Remember: if the weather is too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your dog or cat.
You should also consider how much daylight you have before taking your pet outside. As the days get shorter, you should make sure you’re back inside before it gets too dark to see clearly. If you’re walking your dog after sunset, try our Nite Brite Reflecting Leash to keep you both as visible as possible.