Probably the best prescription for winter’s chill is to keep your furry friends inside with you. The happiest dogs are those that are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time. Don’t leave your pets outside when the temperature drops. They are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.
Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, that may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before
starting your engine.
Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Also, use products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates her mouth.