8 Tips to Keep Your Pets Warm and Safe in Winter Weather
By: Grace Suriel
If you are reading this, you are probably freezing your buns off. Thanks to the now infamous polar vortex, 24 states are experiencing record cold temperatures. Here at Discovery Communications headquarters our current wind chill is -2 degrees. Brr!
As responsible dog parents, it’s incredibly important to keep our four legged friends as warm as possible. Here are a few tips on keeping your pets warm courtesy of the American Kennel Club and the Humane Society of the United States.
- Don't leave your pet outside in the cold for long periods of time. Wind chill makes days colder than actual temperature readings. Be attentive to your pet's body temperature, and limit its time outdoors
- Keep your pet warm, dry and away from drafts. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so make sure to place blankets and pads on floors in these areas
- Be extra careful when walking or playing with your dog near frozen lakes, rivers or ponds. Your dog could slip or jump in and get seriously injured
- Short- or coarse-haired pets may get extra cold, so consider a sweater or coat
- Feed your pet additional calories if it spends a lot of time outdoors or is a working animal. It takes more energy in the winter to keep body temperature regulated.
Other winter precautions that keep us humans from slipping, sliding and falling on concrete can be lethal to dogs. Follow these precautions to keep your dogs healthy and safe from potentially deadly poisons.
- Antifreeze, which often collects on driveways and roadways, is highly poisonous. Although it smells and tastes good to your dog, it can be lethal.
- Rock salt, used to melt ice on sidewalks, may irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your dog's feet after a walk.
- Be very careful of supplemental heat sources. Fireplaces and portable heaters can severely burn your pets. Make sure all fireplaces have screens, and keep portable heaters out of reach.