Cold Weather Tips For Companion Animals

When the temperature drops, there are lots of ways you can protect your companion animals and prevent them from feeling the effects of the cold.

Here are a few handy tips. For more, download our Cold Weather Tips for Companion Animals information sheet

Keep your cat inside
Not only will they be warmer indoors, they won't be at risk of being injured, lost, stolen or killed.

Check your car for sleeping cats 
Outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of care to keep warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or even killed. To prevent this, bang loudly on the hood to give a sleeping cat a chance to escape.

Keep your dog on a leash in snow and ice
More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season. Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and become lost. They may panic in a snowstorm and run away.

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather
Just as the inside of a car left in the summer sun can become unbearably hot in a matter of minutes, a car parked out in the cold can act as a refrigerator in the winter and your companion animal could freeze to death.

Provide a warm coat or sweater for your dog
While this may seem like a luxury it is a necessity for many dogs, particularly short-haired breeds. Look for one with a high collar or turtleneck that covers your dog from the base of her tail on top and to the belly underneath.

Beware of antifreeze, a lethal poison for dogs and cats
Animals are attracted to antifreeze because of its sweet taste, but even in very tiny doses it is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Thoroughly clean up any spills from your car and, to prevent accidental poisonings, use animal-friendly products that contain propylene glycol rather than the traditional products containing ethylene glycol.

If you suspect your animal has been poisoned, call your veterinarian or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center on 800.548.2423.

Delay that trip to the grooming parlor until spring
Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Instead leave their coat longer, which provides more warmth. Longer fur will require frequent brushing due to dry winter air and static electricity. Also, when you bathe your dog, make sure she's completely dry before you take her out for a walk.

PAWS thanks and recognizes the ASPCA for the information and guidance provided here.