Winter Pet Safety

The Editor/Publisher of "Spot Magazine," Jennifer McCammon, joined us today to tell us how to keep our pets safe during the cold winter months.

Here are her tips: 

If it’s cold to you, it’s cold to your pet. Sometimes we forget pets are just as accustomed to indoor warmth and comfort as we are. Keep them in when it’s cold!

  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in the car; it can act like a fridge, and can literally cause your pet to freeze to death.
  • When outside, watch your dog for signs of discomfort. If they whine, shiver, seem anxious, slow down or stop moving, get them inside and get them warm.
  • Winter-proof your house.  Animals are close to the floor – all the time. Cold air drops, so it really is colder down there! Want an easy check? Feel their paws. Eliminate drafts and check weather-stripping around doors.
  • Consider booties.  They protect from cold and wet, salt and other chemicals, and rough seasonal surfaces.
  • Never let dogs off leash in snow or ice – they can lose their scent and get lost.  More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.  Always make sure they’ve got ID tags (and ideally, a microchip).
  • After walks, wash and dry their paws.... AND their legs and stomach — to remove ice, salt or chemicals. Check paws for cracks or redness.
  • If your pooch is short-haired, get them a coat or sweater that covers belly to tail with a turtleneck or high collar.
  • Check under the hood!  Cats seek warmth under the hoods of cars, and when the car is started, the fan belt becomes a lethal weapon. Even if you don’t have cats, but have them in the neighborhood, if you’re parked outside, bang on the hood before starting their car.

We hear it all the time, but it’s important to remember: antifreeze and coolants kill. 

  • Look for spills and keep areas clean. These products are nearly irresistible for any cats and dogs, and if they get into it, it’s grim. 
  • Consider products that contain propylene glycol.

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