Tuesday, January 20, 2015

9 Winter Pet Safety Tips

Whether your pets have been in the family a few days or a few years, we all want to make sure you keep them safe and happy. As the winter months are upon us, the cooler weather presents some new dangers to dogs and cats, so everyone needs to heighten their awareness of their pet's needs.

Now, I know you are all thinking that it doesn't get "cold" here in Florida; cold for us are temperatures in the 40s (and 50s - go ahead and laugh).  But I know many of you live where it gets really cold...with lots of snow...so I thought sharing these Winter Safety Tips was a great idea.

Oz the Terrier's 9 Winter Pet Safety Tips

Consider the following 9 tips as you strive to keep your furriest family member out of harm’s way this winter.

The best way to keep pets safe during the winter is to keep them inside in the warmth, particularly if they are either very young or very old. However, the indoors can present its own set of problems to be aware of.

Winter Pet Safety for Indoor Pets

Dangerous Liquids: If your pet spends most of their time inside the garage, make sure liquids such as antifreeze, gasoline and oils are far out of their reach. If you car drips any of these on the floor of the garage, clean it up so your animal does not ingest it. These liquids can be poisonous to animals.

Decorations and Household Items: While decorations for different holidays and the wintertime in general can brighten up a dreary month, some can be hazardous to animals. Holly berries and leaves are poisonous if ingested. Also be sure to put up protection from fireplaces and space heaters, so your pet does not burn themselves.

Daily Walks: Just like kids and adults get cabin fever, pets often feel restless cooped up in the wintery months. Play with your pet often and take them for walks to help them get some exercise and work out some pent up energy. Buy a pet reflective vest if you will be walking in the dark, as the days are shorter in the winter time.

Wipe Them Off: As your pet comes in from outside, wipe off their paws, stomach and any other fur that got wet. This will not only keep your floors clean and dry, it also removes any salt that may have gotten on them and prevent them from accidentally eating it as they clean themselves. Be sure to also check ears and tails for signs of frostbite and call your vet if you find any.

Though I know that most of us are Indoor Pets, there are still many families who choose to let their dogs and cats stay outside during the winter. If you or someone you know fit into this category, these safety suggestions are for you!

Winter Pet Safety for Outdoor Pets
Courtesy of Golden Woofs: Sugar the Golden Retriever

Build a Shelter: Your pet is still going to need protection from the elements. Build them a draft free shelter, raised a couple of inches above the ground. Use a waterproof or plastic door on the front to help keep heat inside. Check bedding each day, as wet bedding can pose a very serious threat to pets.

Food and Water: As your pet’s body works to keep it warm, it is going to need more food and water than in the warmer months. Make sure they have access to plenty of food and clean, fresh water daily. If you live in an area where the water may freeze, use a heating device, such as a birdbath heater, to help prevent this from happening.

Don’t Shave Them Down: A pet’s coat of fur is meant to protect them from the cold. To help your outdoor pet stay warm, down shave them down all the way so they can keep their layer of insulation.

Under the Hood: Cats and other animals often climb under the hoods of cars to cuddle up to the warm engine. When you turn on your engine, you risk seriously injuring or even killing the animal. Before you start your car, bang on your hood or honk your horn to scare any animals who may have climbed inside.

Clothing: If you choose to put booties or sweaters on your animal to help them stay warm, be careful to keep a close eye on them. A dog or cat who does not like their sweater and may try to remove are in danger of accidentally suffocating themselves. In addition, make sure booties are not too tight, as they can cut off circulation.

Whether your pet is spending more time outside or inside, you will want to be sure to watch for signs of hypothermia. These include, but are not limited to, violent shivering, a weak pulse, lethargy, muscle stiffness, trouble breathing and lack of appetite. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia, do what you can to warm them up and call your vet immediately.

Remember, if you would not want to be outside in that weather, your pet probably does not want to be out there either. Pets are people too, so help them to stay warm and safe this winter.

How do you stay warm and safe during the Winter months?

A special thank you to my dear friend Sugar the Golden Retriever for allowing me to use some of her Winter photos for this post.

Post Disclaimer:  This post is sponsored by Utah Garage Doors.  I am being compensated for sharing this post but Oz the Terrier only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers.


  1. thanks for a very impawtant post Oz! It's a common ritual here that my mom looks under the car first and then she uses the horn two times, before she starts. better safe than sorry and otherwise with using the horn all other peeps on the road are warned that my momma is on the way :o)
    Easy Rider

  2. I snuggles up to my Dad, I finds thats an effective way to keep my paws warm!
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

  3. Great tips and we think the bit where you say ... if you don't want to go out there nor would your pet......is so true and best advice of all. Have a terrific Tuesday.
    Best wishes Molly

  4. These are very good things to know Oz we are gonna share them wif our Dad cos he is not very smart when it comes to keeping us safe, Mom does much better.
    Last night Mom caught Gussie chewing on a screwdriver DAD forgot and left out on the floor......stella rose

  5. Great tips. Our pups spend some time outside in the winter (summer too) but not when it is really cold (under 20 or so). We use hay in their insulated houses and it works pretty good. I honestly think could stay out when it is colder but I would worry about them so on those days they are stuck inside. :)

  6. Hope everyone is listening to these tips
    Lily & Edward

  7. Woofs Oz! PAWsome Winter tips. It is important to remind everyone. Stay Warm :-) Golden Woofs

  8. those are some excellent tips you have

  9. Excellent tips OZ! we only go out in the extreme cold to do our business and mom and dad keep a very close eye in case we get too cold.
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

  10. We wear shoes if it is more than -10 outside, but other than that, we take shorter walks and playtimes if it is below zero and the colder it gets the faster we move as it keeps us warm. We all love the cold and snow. In the evenings we enjoy a good romp followed by a nice rest in front of the fireplace with the kitties.

  11. Those are great Oz and so very important!

  12. You are very wise Oz to be able to share winter tips while living in "chilly" Florida. Love Dolly

  13. Great suggestions! If it's cold for me, it's gonna be cold for Sam and if I need boots, his go on, as well as a coat. Then we snuggle up once back inside. :)

  14. What wonderful advice Oz!! We are like you and don't get too cool during the winter, but we do visit our Daddy's family in the Winter Tundra of Wisconsin sometimes!
    Dory, Jakey, Arty & Bilbo

  15. My tip for staying warm in the winter is to play fetch for 87 hours. It warms you right up!

    Your Pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  16. Great tips Oz.

    Aroo to you,

  17. Good tips....it doesn't get very cold here in Winter. We pups love it, but we have make sure SHE's rugged up for our walks....otherwise they're too short.

  18. Those are some great tips. We are laughing at what you find is cold because most of the last two weeks here have been -20F or colder. We think the best winter safety tips are to move to a warmer place lol!

  19. Valuable information shared Oz. Great job.

  20. Wonderful tips as always my furiend!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  21. Oz... we are lucky to have inside homes with lots of warmth and good food and OMCs I have Bird TV too right at the tip of my paws
    Hugs madi your bfff

  22. Be aware that cold weather can exacerbate certain physical limitations, especially in older and arthritic dogs. Pet bounce can help you pet to stay away from problems in this winter.


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Cairn cuddles,
Oz the Terrier