While we love getting outside and playing in a winter wonderland on milder days, as we all know, winter presents safety hazards for everyone, including our pets. To make sure we all get to enjoy the colder season and all the fun snowy days can bring, be sure to keep the following safety tips in mind for your pets.
5 Winter Safety Tips for Pets
1. If It's Too Cold for You, It's Too Cold for Them
Many people assume that since their pets are covered in fur, they can tolerate cold weather better than people. This, however, isn’t usually the case, as temperature tolerance is largely dependent on your pet’s breed, weight, and also the temperature range that they’re used to.
If it’s too cold outside for you, then it’s too cold for your pets, and they should be brought inside. If your pet has a warm shelter outdoors, make sure that their bedding and shelter stay dry.
2. Remember That Water Freezes
Be sure your pet always has access to fresh, unfrozen water when they’re outdoors with a heated water dish.
3. Wash and Dry Paws After Playing Outside
Winter means ice, and ice means lots of isomalt and salt on the sidewalks. These chemicals are toxic and dangerous for our pets who can end up licking them off of their paws after playing outdoors. Be sure to wash and dry your pet’s paws when you come inside from the frozen outdoors.
4. Remember to Dry Off
When your pet romps around in the snow, they can wind up getting wet. This not only puts them at risk of getting too cold but it can also dry out their skin, leading to itchiness and coat problems. Keep a towel handle for drying off after walks.
5. Try Booties and/or Paw Balm
The cold, dry weather of winter can irritate your pet’s paws and even leave them calloused, cracked, and bleeding. We recommend training your dog to wear dog socks or booties. However, if they won’t tolerate walking in these, then try adding a bit of soothing moisture by applying a pet-safe paw balm to their paw pads every day.
Schedule a Winter Checkup for Your Pets in Woodland Park
For more winter safety tips and health and wellness for life, remember to schedule your pet’s annual or biannual checkup with Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital. Regular wellness and preventative care appointments are essential to your pet’s health and happiness.