6 Ways To Keep Dogs & Cats Safe In Sub-Zero Conditions

When temperatures dip, people should really be keeping their pets indoors. But this isn’t always possible for dogs, who still require regular walks or at least brief potty breaks outside, or cats that live their lives outside. Fortunately, there several ways to protect your pets when temperatures dip below zero. Read on for 6 winter safety tips for dog and cat owners!

5. Dress Warm

Just like you wouldn’t venture into a blizzard without a big coat and boots on, don’t expect anything less for your pet. Moreover, towel dry your pet when she/he comes back indoors, while paying special attention to toes and paws, which could be irritated by snowballs or salts thrown onto slippery pavement. A hair dryer works, too. Check out the Animal Rescue Site store for a wide selection of winter coats, boots, and drying mats to keep your dog safe, dry, and warm in cold and snowy conditions.

5. Hunker Down

If your cat is used to roaming free outside, this is the perfect excuse to bring him indoors. Be prepared for some whining, but a few extra treats should help convince Fluffy this is for his own good. (Here are some other ways to help outdoor cats adjust to a safer life inside.)

4. Limit Driving Time

Everyone knows dogs shouldn’t languish in hot cars, but cold, freezing cars pose just as much risk. “You’re already familiar with how a car can rapidly cool down in cold weather,” the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) wrote on its website. “It becomes like a refrigerator, and can rapidly chill your pet.” Old, young, sick, and thin pets are particularly susceptible to these elements.

3. Be Flashy

Coats and collars aren’t just a fashion statement. Cats and dogs are also more likely to get lost in white-out conditions, so dressing your pets in bright winter gear — in addition to keeping him warm — also makes him easier to spot in the snow. Check out our vast selection of winter coats, boots, and collars at the Animal Rescue Site store!

2. Beware of Winter Toxins

Antifreeze might be a magical elixir for motorists trying to plow through bad weather, but even a few wayward drops can be fatal for Fido or Fluffy. This common garage salve is a regular wintertime foil, because most anti-freeze agents contain ethylene glycol, which is toxic for pets. Per the ASPCA, it’s incumbent on pet owners to immediately clean up any spills inside their car, and to buy products containing the less toxic propylene glycol. The chemical de-cing agents used on city sidewalks and streets are also toxic –and another excellent reason to train your dog to wear boots on winter walks.

1. Eat Up

If there’s one upside to bracing for a blizzard with your dog or cat, it’s that you both have the perfect excuse to pig out. Eating well during winter months helps us generate extra energy and body heat, and we’re pretty sure your dog won’t say ‘no’ to second helpings! In addition to regular meal times, make sure your pets are drinking plenty of water. This will help keep them hydrated in the brittle winter air.

Additional Resources:

  • How Cold Is Too Cold For Dogs?
  • Pro Tips For Training Your Dog To Wear Winter Boots
  • Remember To Knock On The Hood Of Your Car During The Winter To Check For Sleeping Cats
  • Protect Your Pets With These Winter Safety Tips
  • 7 Simple Steps That Will Help You Save Stray Animals’ Lives This Winter
  • Help Strays Survive Winter With This Easy DIY Cat Shelter
  • Winter Games to Play with Your Dog to Beat the Seasonal Blues
  • Winter is Coyote Mating Season – How to Protect Your Pets
  • Magical Gift Arrives For Rescue Dog Obsessed With Unicorns: Click “Next” below!

    J. Swanson is a writer, traveler, and animal-enthusiast based in Seattle, an appropriately pet-crazed city where dog or cat ownership even outweighs the number of kids. When the weather permits, she likes to get outside and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest, always with a coffee in hand.
    Whizzco for FAP