Keeping Your Pet Safe in the Winter

Baby, it’s cold outside! When the temperatures drop below freezing – as they have quite recently and suddenly here in Nebraska – it’s important to take steps to protect your pets. Even winter-hardy dog breeds (such as Siberian Huskies and Malamutes) and long-haired or double-coated cats are susceptible to frostbite and other dangers of extreme temps, snow, and ice.

Jake Hemenway – a Golden Retriever – loves the snow, but even snow-loving dogs and cats shouldn’t stay out too long during Nebraska’s bitter cold-snaps!
  • Consider a sweater or a dog coat
  • Have an emergency kit, in case of severe weather or power outage
  • Consider booties for your dog’s feet
  • Ensure outdoor pets have insulated shelter and unfrozen drinking water; in extreme weather, you may even need to bring these pets indoors for safety.
  • Let your pets outside for only short periods of time
  • Walks are great for exercise and potty breaks, but keep them short!
  • Check under your car, bang on the hood, and honk your horn before starting the engine: outdoor cats and other small animals often seek warm shelter near car engines during the night, and can be seriously injured if you start the car while they are inside.
  • Use pet-safe de-icing products; these are readily available at most stores now
  • Clean up antifreeze spills immediately! Antifreeze, which contains ethylene glycol (EG), is extremely dangerous to dogs and cats. As little as a tablespoon (TBSP) can result in severe acute kidney failure in dogs, while as little as 1 teaspoon (tsp) can be fatal to cats. When dogs or cats are exposed to ethylene glycol, immediate treatment by a veterinarian is essential.
  • Stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and streams
  • Only take your pet in the car with you when necessary, and never leave it unattended in a car
  • Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of irritation or injury from snow, ice, or ice-melt products
  • Wipe down or wash your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove packed snow, ice, salt and de-icing chemicals after walks or backyard excursions
  • Contact your veterinarian if your pet is shivering or extremely lethargic after being out in the cold! Make sure you have the number of the nearest emergency animal hospital too.
  • Still have questions about whether or not it’s too cold for your pet? Please call us!
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