The following article is courtesy of our partner, Banfield Pet Hospital. Used with permission.
This season, many families want to know how they can keep their pets safe during cold weather months. See below for pet-safety tips to keep in mind during the winter.
- Keep your pet indoors: All pets belong inside when the temperatures drop.
- Increase the calories: Older, chronically ill or debilitated pets may have more difficulty during cold weather. Unless your pet is already overweight, ask your vet if it’s alright to increase her food intake to give her extra calories to stay warm.
- Watch out for frozen water bowls: If you leave water out for local feral cats, be aware that cold temperatures can cause it to freeze. Cats can also damage their paws trying to break through icy surfaces. In freezing temperatures, check the water frequently or purchase a heater for the water bowl.
- Clean up spilled antifreeze: Regular antifreeze (ethylene glycol) is attractive to pets because it has a sweet taste. Even in very small quantities, the ingestion of antifreeze can be fatal. Licking antifreeze off the floor of the garage is enough to be dangerous. Check your car for coolant leaks and clean up spilled antifreeze immediately. Optimally, use antifreeze-coolant made with propylene glycol, which won’t hurt pets, wildlife or family members.
- Prevent car injuries: Cats may climb onto vehicle engines seeking warmth during cold weather. Severe, sometimes fatal injuries can result from being struck by a moving fan belt. Be sure to knock on or check under the hood before starting your vehicle and honk the horn to startle any pets who may have sought shelter underneath your vehicle.