Cold Weather Tips for Pets

Winter is coming, winter is coming! Well, for some of our readers, it’s already here. Our checklist of winter pet safety tips can help you make sure your pet is ready for the winter weather, whether winter’s here or on the way.

Here’s our checklist to help you keep your pets in cold weather safe and warm as the temperatures start to dip and dive:

–         Keep your pets’ water fresh—indoors or out. Make sure it doesn’t get too cold.
–         If your pet’s outside, a little extra food will help replace calories he uses to stay warm.
–         Out for a walk? Avoid salt and other de-icers on walkways. They can be tough on a pet’s footpads. Clean the ice off the feet and fur, too.
–         Indoors is usually best for a house pet. But if they’re outside, prepare a warm “house”: a crate or even a box for them. Heat lamps and other space heaters aren’t’ usually a good idea. Besides the fire hazard, the extreme heat can burn their skin.
–         Pay attention to the wind. Wind chill can be a danger to any animal outside, so good shelter is a must. Ask your vet if sweaters and blankets are a good idea. Though they can protect from the wind, they can actually become too hot if they’re waterproof if the wind dies down and the sun comes out.
–         Check on cold-blooded pets like lizards, frogs and snakes, too. If your home gets colder in the winter, check the temperature of the cage. Protect them from drafty windows and heat vents, too.
–         And should the weather get frightful, don’t forget to stock up on food and any medicines for your pet.

Where does your pet “winter”? Inside or outside? With special clothes or a special house? In your lap? Tell us in the comments!

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