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Cold Weather DOs and DON’Ts for Pets

Here are some important DOs and DON’Ts for your pets this winter!

  • DO leave water outside for your pets. Your pets need access to fresh, clean water at all times. Read more about bowls and accessories!
  • DON’T let the water freeze! If you won’t be around to change your pet’s water, look for a heated water dish at your favorite pet store.
  • DO give your pets a little extra food if they’ll be outside a lot and active during the winter. Pets and people need extra calories to help keep warm if they’ll be spending a lot of time outside.
  • DON’T overfeed your sedentary, indoor pets.
  • DO provide an outside shelter for your pets if they’ll be spending hours outside. What does the dream doghouse have?
  • DON’T pick a house that is too big! Too much extra space means lost body heat. The house should be big enough for your pet to stand up and turn around.
  • DON’T let your pet’s outdoor bedding get wet. Keep bedding materials clean and dry.
  • DO be careful around bodies of water. Rivers, ponds, and lakes may not be completely frozen, and people and pets can fall in! Keep an eye on in-ground pools, too.
  • DO make sure your pets have a warm sleeping area inside and away from drafts.
  • DON’T ignore your pet’s warning signs! A pet will shiver just like a person will. Young and old animals are more susceptible to the effects of the cold.
  • DO clean paws after a walk or trip into the yard. Salt and snow removal chemicals can be toxic to pets. First aid if your pet gets poisoned.
  • DO check ears, tail, and feet for signs of frostbite. Watch for red or grey skin.
  • DON’T let your pets run off-leash during bad weather or storms. A snowstorm can make a pet lose his sense of smell, leading him astray.
  • DON’T pile snow near fences where clever and curious pets can climb out and escape.
  • DO clean up antifreeze spills immediately. The liquid smells and tastes sweet to pets, and can be lethal even in small amounts. Signs of poisoning in pets.
  • DON’T let your pets outside immediately after bath time. Give them enough time to dry thoroughly.
  • DON’T suddenly house an indoor dog or cat outside. It can take a month or more as seasons change for an animal adjust to lower temperatures.
  • DO watch the thermometer. Don’t leave your pets outside for long periods of time when the temperature is below freezing.