January 3, 2018

Winter Weather Is Upon Us—Are You and Your Pets Prepared?

While the temperature continues to drop in many parts of the country, it’s important to make sure that your furry friends are staying safe and warm. That’s why the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) has issued some critical cold weather safety tips so that pet parents can keep animals healthy and happy as temperatures drop and the snow piles up. Watch the video below!

Also keep in mind: 

  • Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent in the snow and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure your dog always wears an ID tag.  
  • If your large dog spends most of his time outside, take proper precautions during the colder months. Make sure your dog has an insulated and waterproof dog house and access to fresh water. Never leave your dog outside during a snowstorm or inclement weather including sleet, ice, snow, wind, or extreme cold.
  • Bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting the engine. Outdoor, stray and feral cats sometimes sleep under car hoods to stay warm, but the fan belt can injure or kill a cat when the motor starts. Banging on the hood can help avoid catastrophe and give the cat a chance to escape.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long-haired, simply trim him to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry his skin, and don’t neglect the hair between his toes. 
  • 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. If your pooch must be bathed, ask your vet to recommend a moisturizing shampoo and/or rinse.
  • Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in wintertime.Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry.

For more information, check out APCC’s full list of cold weather safety tips, and download the APCC App to stay up-to-date on important information concerning your pets’ wellness. Also, if you see an animal outdoors and in need of assistance in cold temperatures, please contact your local shelter or law enforcement agency