Keep your pets safe in cold weather

Extremely low temperatures outside are as dangerous for pets as the are for people. Limit your pets’ outside activities to short potty breaks only.

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.

Don’t forget to clean off your pets legs and stomach when they come in. Antifreeze, Salt and other potentially dangerous chemicals can be ingested as your pet licks their paws. Also check paw pads for splits and rawness from snow or ice.

Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

Never shave your dog down to the skin in the winter, as a longer coat will be needed to provide warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.