Cold Weather Safety Tips for Cats and Dogs

With the frigid temperatures of winter upon us, pet owners need to pay extra attention to their dog’s or cat’s needs. Use these tips from a London vet to keep your furry friend safe from the harsh elements.

Bring Pets Inside

Don’t leave a pet outdoors for extended periods of time—prolonged exposure to the freezing temperatures and biting wind can quickly result in hypothermia or frostbite. The easiest way to avoid these hazards is to bring your pet indoors with you and your family. They’ll be safe, warm, and happy as can be.

Watch for Ice

Just like us, pets can slip on patches of ice, potentially tearing a ligament or hyperextending a limb. Pay extra mind to ice when you’re leading your pet down a set of stairs or are walking near a road. Remember also that ice may have road salt or chemical de-icers on it, substances that could prove dangerous if your pet decides to lick them off his paws.

Check the Hood

Cats like to hide under cars, and sometimes under the hood in the engine compartment, to stay warm in the chilly weather. If a driver starts the car, the cat could be seriously injured or worse. To avoid this outcome, give your car’s hood a few sharp bangs before starting it up. This will frighten any cats into running away before they can get hurt.

Beware of Antifreeze

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that is very toxic to pets. To make matters worse, it has a sweet taste that may attract dogs and cats. To avoid poisoning, store antifreeze properly, keep pets elsewhere when using it, and clean up any spills immediately. If your pet does accidentally swallow antifreeze, rush him or her to your London vet’s office as quickly as you can.

Wipe Pets Down

Every time your pet comes indoors from a bathroom break or quick walk, give them a thorough wipe-down with a large, soft towel. This will remove bits of snow, ice, and other debris from their paws and coat, as well as get rid of any harmful chemicals or road salt clinging to their paws or limbs.

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