Winter Pet Safety

Your pet’s fur coat might give them some protection from the cold, but they can get frostbite just like we can if left outside for too long. Certain breeds can withstand more extreme low temperatures, but most pets simply do not have the same level of insulation. Their paw pads are especially vulnerable to frostbite, since they have no protective fur layer. If you want to take your pet out walking, we recommend getting them a jacket—it may look silly at first, but it will keep them warm and comfortable.

On extremely cold, windy days, you should keep your pet indoors as much as possible. If they do need to be outside for an extended period of time, make sure they have a sturdy shelter that is dry and warm, with plenty of soft bedding and easy access to food and water. Check in on them frequently.

Antifreeze is always a major concern during the winter season, as many motorists rely on it to operate their vehicles, and it is highly toxic for animals. In fact, ingesting antifreeze can be fatal for pets. The sweet smell and taste can easily attract animals, who may be tempted to give it a taste. Tightly seal and lock away any antifreeze containers, and check the garage and driveway for spills.

Sidewalk salt can burn your pet’s feet (and mouth, if they lick the salt from their feet), and get stuck in their fur. When taking your pet out for walks, try to avoid walking through areas where sidewalk salt has been scattered. We suggest investing in dog shoes to protect their paws—if they’ll tolerate them! Otherwise, check their coat and paws for salt and remove it before bringing them inside the house.