How to Help Cats & Dogs in Winter Weather

infographic on dogs and cats

Winter time is a flurry of activity in getting everything ready: the cars, the house, and the right winter gear for you and your family. But, don’t forget about your furry dependents! This winter, make sure your fur babies are just as prepared as you are for the cold winter season with these four tips:

  1. Have an outside shelter. Animals are just as prone to hypothermia, frostbite, and death as we are, especially those breeds with thin coats. The smaller your breed, the less time outdoors they should be. If they must stay outside for a prolonged period of time, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. 
  2. Check the paws. Salt is a common ice melter. The more contact your animal’s paws have, the more important it is to check for cracked paw pads and bleeding. For outside walks, consider using booties or rubbing a dollop of petroleum onto their pads.
  3. Play dress-up. The shorter your dog’s coat is, the more necessary to use a sweater or dog coat. Have a few on hand so that you will always have a dry one ready for his/her next trip outside.
  4. Feed them well. A little extra weight is not to be confused with extra warmth. Even in winter, keep your animals in a healthy weight range. However, outdoor pets will require extra calories. Consult with your veterinarian about specific pet needs.

If you encounter a pet left out in the cold for an extended period of time, you can contact local law enforcement or animal control. 

Contributed by Angelica Mecham