In Part 1 of our three-part Winter Pet Safety series, we covered general winter pet safety and included some tips to keep your furry friends safe through the coldest months. Then, in Part 2, we discussed winter wellness for walking your pets.
In Part 3, our final article of the series, we’ll discuss continued safety for outdoor pets.
Let’s get started.
Outdoor Pet Safety in Winter
Both cats and dogs can be susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, despite many believing they are more resistant due to their fur. Cats and dogs should be brought indoors during cold weather, especially below-freezing weather.
But, for those pets that must remain outside, here are a few tips to help keep them safe.
Provide Outdoor Shelter
If, for whatever reason, your pet must remain outdoors during the winter, be vigilant in providing the basic necessities, including:
Unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water
A warm shelter that is off the ground
Protection from the wind
Thick, dry bedding that is changed regularly
Avoid using heat lamps and space heaters for outdoor shelters due to the risk of fires and burns to your pets.
Check for Cats in Cars
The engine of vehicles can provide a warm place to cozy up for cats during the winter. Before you start your car, make sure to bang on the hood to alert any local pets or feral cats that might have taken comfort in the warmth without you knowing.
Don’t Leave Pets in Unattended Cars
Much like keeping your pets safe in the summer heat, keeping them warm during the winter is equally as important. Cars can cool rapidly in the cold weather, instantly creating a refrigerator-like climate. Never leave your pets unattended in vehicles in the winter.
Antifreeze is commonly used in the winter and can be deadly to pets. If using any antifreeze, be sure to clean up any spills immediately.
Being a responsible pet owner means doing your best to be prepared for the worst. Here are a few ways to keep your pet’s safety a priority through winter.
Recognize signs of cold-weather risks: know the signs of frostbite or hypothermia in your pet, which may include weakness, slowing movement, anxiousness, shivering, or wining.
Make sure you have an emergency kit ready: winter brings with it storms, which may mean power outages in the home. Have an emergency kit with at least five days worth of medications, food, and water available for your pet.
When in doubt, consult with your veterinarian: if you’re unsure how to handle your pet in the cold, make an appointment with your regular veterinarian for some assistance.
Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Wants to Help Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter
Here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, we love the snowy season just as much as the next dog lover. That’s why we’re committed to helping you keep your pets safe through the coldest weather of the year.
Of course, if you’re interested in exploring the world of veterinary acupuncture but worried about potentially exposing your pet to hypothermic conditions, we’re here for you, too! After all, we come to you!
Take a look at the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. Dr. Kho is happy to discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture.