16 Important Winter Safety Tips for Pets

Super Smiley, blog dog here, and I’m a big dog. A big dog who’s very cold natured!

So I have some personal tips on keeping your pet safe and warm in winter.

  1. Keep your pet indoors! I can’t imagine being left outside in the cold! Exposed skin like paw pads, noses and ears are vulnerable to hypothermia and frostbite.
  2. Dress for winter! Yep, get your dog a sweater or coat. That extra layer may be just what he needs to stay warm, even on a short walk.
  3. Avoid salted surfaces when walking us! Salt can damage our paw pads.
  4. Beware of and clean up antifreeze if you see any on the ground. Even a few small licks of antifreeze can kill a dog or cat.
  5. Watch out for our pads! Even if you are watching closely to avoid salt and antifreeze, there may be small amounts of salt, de-icers or antifreeze on the ground that we may pick up on our paw pads and underbellies. So, be sure to clean our feet and bellies after walks. This will not only help keep our pads safe, but it may keep us from poisoning ourselves if we try to lick ourselves clean!
  6. Beware of ice balls. If we’re walking through snow, be sure to check our paws for ice balls that may have formed between our pads and toes. If left there, they can cause permanent damage.
  7. Dog booties! On icy surfaces or snow, booties may be just the thing. They’ll protect our paws from the natural elements, and from possible chemical damage from salt, antifreeze and other de-icers.
  8. Keep us away from frozen ponds. We may not realize that the ice isn’t a secure surface, so we may walk right out there and fall through.
  9. Know your personal pet. Like I mentioned, I’m a big muscular dog, but when I went hiking across New England in the winter, I discovered I am cold natured! So watch for what your dog tells you with his body language. Know his physical condition. Is he thick coated or almost bare? Does he have short legs that will put his body closer to the cold ground? Does he have a physical condition like diabetes, kidney disease or a hormonal imbalance that makes it hard for his body temperature to regulate? We’ll let you know we need something, and we’re counting on you to get it!
  10. Take your pets signals seriously! If she’s shivering, slowing down, shutting down, whining, stopping, or looking for a place to burrow, get her inside and warmed up immediately. Frostbite is very serious, can leave permanent damage, and may not appear for several days, so if you suspect your pet experienced hypothermia, call your veterinarian immediately.

My plan is to dress for the weather and enjoy the winter wonderland!

Love that plan, Super Smiley! It’s Megan here now with a few ideas to keep pets safe in the winter, both outside and in your home.

  1. Winterize your house! Make sure it’s pet-proofed from things like space heater dangers, extra extension chords and holiday decorations.
  2. Some families turn down the heat when they sleep. If you do this, remember to give your dog plenty of blankets to burrow in. Smiley gets two…big ones.
  3. Preventative health care exams. Cold can exacerbate conditions like arthritis. So make sure you know what to expect for your pet when cold weather hits.
  4. Be prepared! Have a first aid kit, emergency phone numbers for your veterinarian, and a back up plan if bad weather results in loss of power and heat.
  5. Identification! Be sure your pets are wearing tags on their collars and they are microchipped. If they get lost in snow, it may mask scents that would normally guide them home.
  6. Watch out for other pets. Let your local animal control agency or sheriff’s office know if you see a pet left out in the cold.

I agree with Super Smiley. Let’s dress for the weather, watch where we walk, and go out there and have the time of our lives.

Until Next Time,
Woof and Super Smiles from
Super Smiley and Megan Blake, The Pet Lifestyle Coach®

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