8 Winter Safety Tips for Pets (Slideshow)

Living in a Winter Wonderland?

Unless you’re one of the lucky ones living in one of the balmier states, you’ve felt the cold chill of winter arrive. For some of us, cold weather is regarded as a mere nuisance; others will find this time of bone-chilling weather and huge piles of snow a veritable nightmare to endure. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of eight tips to protect your pet from the dangers of winter.

8. In or Out?

Does your pet spend most of the time in the backyard? You might want to keep her indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet — they’re simply not that cuddly.

See Also: 4 Ways to Prepare For Winter

7. Bare Naked Truth

If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this: Would a fur coat alone (even if it is faux mink) keep you warm against the elements? No? Well, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection for your pet during winter, either. Be a pal and provide your dog with a warm, dry, and draft free shelter outside; the shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

Related: 6 High Style Dog Houses

6. No More Frozen Dinners!

Because it takes more energy to stay warm when it’s cold, outdoor animals eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet’s health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas (boo, fleas!). While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.

See Also: Should I Keep My Cat Indoors?

Image Credit: J. Curtis / via Flickr

5. Latest Fad Diet?

Indoor animals, meanwhile, have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust the amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet.

Related: Healthy Diets for Picky Dogs

4. Frosty the Biting Snowman

We’re not talking about the latest horror movie offering from Hollywood. Frosting is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails, and ears. This makes it even more important in keeping your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. Get special booties, coats, and maybe a hat for your pet during her walks, and look for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.

See Also:
Frostbite and Hypothermia: What You Need to Know
How to Keep Pets Warm in Winter

3. The Deadly Drink

The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car’s radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly — even the smallest sip can be fatal. If your pet starts acting “drunk” or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep all pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors’ driveways?

Image Credit: Nick Harris / via Flickr

2. Salty Solution

Do you live in an area with cold and icy winters? Then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws — not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet’s paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

1. Avoid Car Cat-astrophes

Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car … ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car’s hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she’ll thank you in the long run.

How Cold is Too Cold for Dogs and Cats?
14 Tips For Using Less Heat This Season
Cat In Sweaters: Cat Hoodie Knitting Pattern

8 Tips for Caring for Your Pet This Winter originally appeared on petMD.com

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Melania Padilla
Melania Padilla2 years ago


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson2 years ago

great tips! thanks

Carrie Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

David V.
David V.3 years ago

Good info.....keep all pets safe & warm.

Veronique L.
veronique L.3 years ago

Thank you!!

Les M.
Les M.3 years ago

some of these issues also have an impact on wildlife. don't forget them either.

Teresa Wlosowicz
Teresa W.3 years ago


John S.
Past Member 3 years ago

Thanks, what's funny he wants to be the first one outside when I smoke, but we don't get that cold in London.

Arild Warud
Arild Warud3 years ago


Rosann Thiessen
Rosann Thiessen3 years ago

I have always kept my cats as indoor only, however I had a wonderful unexpected cat that showed up on my back porch one day, and despite may efforts to bring him inside, he would not accept it. So I enclosed my back porch, made a fuzzy warm bed for him, but this is how I am able to keep him warm and safe. I hang a heat lamp for him, and it is maybe 1-2 dollars extra on the power bill monthly, and well worth it. I hope this idea is helpful!