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Top Cold Weather Safety Tips for Your Pets

Cold weather brings a list of safety hazards for your pets from the cold temperatures to chemicals used only in winter (de-icers, etc) that can harm your pets. Here are the top cold weather safety tips for your pets.

1. Wipe their paws – There are chemicals that are more prevalent during the winter that can make your pet seriously sick if he were to lick these off his paws. Things like antifreeze, salt mixtures, de-icer and other chemicals used in winter can be toxic to your pet. Always wipe their paws well when you come in from being outside to protect them from ingesting these toxins.

2. Know their limit – Different dogs have different tolerance levels for cold weather. Know their limit so you don’t overdo it out in the cold weather and put your pet in peril. Puppies, short-haired dogs and older dogs tend to have more issues with cold tolerance than other dogs. Also make sure your pet is properly outfitted for outdoor weather. You might need to outfit your pooch in a warm sweater or coat to help them brave the colder temps.

3. Be reflective – With the days being shorter and darkness coming earlier in the day, it’s important to use reflective gear so you and your pet can easily be seen by vehicles. Bark Appeal makes reflective leashes and our no-pull reflective harness is great for helping you be seen in the dark. Also carry a flashlight and wear light-colored clothing to make yourself even more visible.

4. Avoid ice – Don’t let your pup wander out onto frozen lakes or ponds. The ice can easily crack and drop your dog into the frigid water below. This can lead to a serious rescue situation and possible hypothermia for your pet. Just play it safe and keep pets off of icy areas.

5. Avoid chemical spills – Chemicals like antifreeze are highly toxic to pets and are more common to find during the colder weather months. It tastes good to animals and they are more likely to encounter it in the winter. Keep pets away from any chemical spills and puddles where such toxins might have collected.

6. Leave them home – Leaving your dog unattended in a cold car can be just as dangerous as leaving your pet in a hot car during the summer. Cold temps can be dangerous for your pet so it’s best to leave them home. If your trip would involve leaving your pet unattended in a car for any amount of time, save yourself the worry and your pet the danger by leaving them home.

7. Bring them in – When temps drop, be sure to bring them inside. Even if your pup has an outdoor dog house, it’s likely inadequate to properly shield him from the coldest weather. If you’re cold, they’re likely cold too so bring them indoors.

8. Knock on your car – A final tip to protect strays during the cold. If you store your car outdoors, knock on your hood before you start your vehicle. Cats often climb up into cars to seek shelter from the elements and some dogs will climb up underneath vehicles as well. Knock well and listen for any noise that could indicate an animal hiding inside your vehicle. You just might save a life.

The winter season and cold weather brings a host of safety hazards for your pet. Hopefully these 8 tips help you protect your pup or cat during the cold part of the year.