dog in cap and scarf

It seems that most of the United States is in a deep freeze right now.  These conditions can be tough for humans but can be especially tough for our pets.  Here are some tips to keep your pets safe and warm.

Keep pets indoors as much as possible during cold weather.  Like humans, animals can get frostbite

Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snow storm.  Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.  More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wear ID tags.

Outdoor cats and other wildlife seeking shelter and warmth can crawl under the hood of a car or truck.  Banging on the hood of your car before starting the engine should scare away any stowaways.

Road salt and other de-icing chemicals are damaging to pets’ paws and can be hazardous if ingested.  Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of sleet, snow or ice.  It is also a good idea to trim the long hair on the bottom of a pet’s feet to prevent ice balls from forming.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth.  When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before going out for a walk.  If you own a short-hair breed consider getting him a coat or sweater.

Antifreeze is a lethal poison to dogs and cats.  Be sure to thoroughly clean up an spills from your vehicle and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts.  A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.