Baby, it’s Cold Outside… for Your Pets

by Loree Walden, Marketing Manager, Yavapai Humane Society

If it’s too cold for you outside, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Here are a few tidbits of information on how to keep your furkids safe during the cold weather season.

Depending on the type of dog you have, it’s important to shorten their outdoor time when the temperature drops. Repeatedly coming in and out of the cold into the dry heat of your home can cause itchy, flaking skin and aggravation. Use a humidifier in your home and towel dry your pet when you bring them inside, paying special attention to their feet and in between the toes. Take time to remove any snowballs or ice from between their foot pads. 

Never shave your dog down to the skin in the winter as a longer coat will provide more warmth. If your dog is long haired, just trim them to minimize the clinging ice balls, salt crystals and de-icing chemicals that can dry and irritate their skin. If your dog is short haired, consider getting them a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage to the base of the tail. 

Antifreeze can be lethal. It tastes sweet to pets but it contains a toxic agent, so always clean up any antifreeze if it spills. Be aware if your dog starts sniffing around in a driveway or parking lot, because it’s possible that someone may have spilled antifreeze and your dog could consume it. If you think your pet has consumed antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately. 

Pets burn extra energy trying to stay warm in wintertime, so check with your vet on if you should add a little more food to their diet during the colder months to provide extra calories.

Don’t leave your dogs alone in a car during cold weather as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and can cause serious injury or even cause them to freeze to death.

Taking a few extra minutes and precautions can help prevent discomfort and injuries to your precious pet during this colder time of year.