When you think of weather safety tips for your pet, warm weather and hot cars often comes to mind. While that definitely pose a threat to your pets in the warmer months, weather is a year-round safety hazard for your pets! Cold weather can also pose serious threats to your pet’s health.

Winter conditions can cause a lot of issues for your pets including chapped paws and itchy, flaking skin. Winter walks can also be dangerous if ice-melting chemicals are licked off of bare paws.

Here are some tips to help keep your pets safe during the cold weather season:

  • To Prevent itchy, flaky skin, keep your home humidified and towel dry your pet when they come inside. Pay close attention to their feet and in-between their toes.
  • Never shave your dog down to the skin during the winter months. A longer coat will provide more warmth for your pet. Simply trim your long-haired pets to minimize the clinging of ice, salt, and de-icing chemicals. For short haired dogs, consider purchasing them a coat or sweater that has full coverage from the belly to the base of the tail.
  • Feed your outdoor pet a little bit more during the cold weather months. Pets burn more energy during the winter trying to stay warm. Also be sure to provide plenty of water to keep them hydrated and to prevent dry skin.
  • If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for them too! Pets can freeze outside in the winter time and become disoriented. If left out in a cold car, their life can be jeopardized.
  • Make sure your companion has a warm place to sleep, off of the floor and avoiding any cold winter drafts!
  • Well-fitting collar and identification – Pets can get lost in winter when snow and ice mask recognizable scents that might help your pet find their way back home. Having a well-fitting collar with up to date information on their tag is critical.
  • Be prepared for severe winter weather! Cold weather brings ice, blizzards and power outages. When stocking up and preparing for emergency plans, be sure to include your pet. Have enough food, water and medicine (if needed) on hand to get through at least 5 days.

For more tips on winter pet safety, contact your Animal Health Center veterinarian today! During the month of December, save 10% on food, leashes and collars. Stop by your preferred Animal Health Center location to claim this deal – perfect for gifts for your pet and your favorite animal lovers!