Cold Weather Pet Safety

Dog in snow

How to Protect Your Pet When the Weather Turns Cold

Cold weather can be dangerous for your pet's health, causing ailments ranging from skin irritations to frostbite. These six tips will help you keep your pet safe and comfortable no matter how low the temperature drops.

1. Use Pet-Safe Antifreeze

Antifreeze may not look very appetizing to you, but animals are drawn to its sweet scent. Licking a small puddle of antifreeze can cause kidney failure and even death in pets. Since you never know when your radiator will spring a leak, it's a good idea to replace your antifreeze with a pet-safe version.

Before adding pet-safe antifreeze, flush out the old antifreeze and dispose of it. If you just top off the antifreeze with the pet-safe type, your pet may still be at risk. Wipe up antifreeze spills and puddles immediately to protect your pet and other animals.

2. Pay Extra Attention to Your Pet's Paws and Pads

Frozen surfaces, rock salt, and ice-melting chemicals can be hard on your pet's paws. Wipe off your pet's paws after every walk or outdoor play session to prevent painful irritation. Applying a liberal coat of petroleum jelly to your dog or cat's paws before going outside can be a good preventative measure.

Pet-sized boots and booties offer another option. The footwear prevents paws and pads from coming in contact with dangerous substances and also reduces slips and falls on icy surfaces.

Paw inspections are particularly important on snowy or icy days. Remove clumps of snow and ice stuck between your pet's toes promptly to prevent irritation or frostbite.

3. Limit Outside Time on Freezing Cold Days

Your pet's natural fur coat makes chilly days more comfortable but may not offer adequate protection on very cold days. If it's so cold that you don't want to spend more than a few minutes outside, bring your pet inside. Although dog houses can provide some degree of shelter from the wind, your pet will still be affected by the cold and could develop frostbite if left outside for too long.

Some dogs will be more comfortable wearing sweaters when venturing out on cold days. A sweater may be a good idea for short-haired or hairless pets, old, young, frail, or sick animals.

4. Make Sure Your Pet Wears Tags

It's never a good time to lose your pet, but the winter is a particularly bad time for your furry friend to go missing. Bad weather can complicate your search and put your pet's life in jeopardy. A collar with a tag may decrease the amount of time your lost pet spends outdoors before it's reunited with you.

Put an ID tag on your dog or cat even if your pet is microchipped. Veterinary offices and shelters will have microchip readers, but good samaritans won't have these devices.

5. Protect Your Pet from Indoor Hazards

It only takes a second for an injury to occur if your pet is near a fireplace, heater, or lit candle. Place a baby gate enclosure around your fireplace or heater to prevent your pet from wandering too close. Sparks from the fire can cause burns, as can a brush with a heater.

If you use a kerosene heater, it's particularly important to keep the unit away from your pets. Your playful dog or cat could knock over the heater, starting a fire. Battery-operated flameless candles are a better choice if you have a curious cat or dog. The candles provide all the ambiance of the real thing, yet don't pose a fire hazard.

6. Don't Leave Your Pet in a Cold Car

Most people know that hot cars can quickly kill pets and children during the summer months. Unfortunately, cold cars are just as dangerous. The ASPCA notes that cars tend to hold in the cold, acting as refrigerators. If you'll be out of the car for more than 10 minutes, bring your pet with you or better yet, leave it at home.

Do you have a question about your pet's health or need to schedule an appointment? Contact our office and let us know how we can help you.

Sources:

ASPCA: Cold Weather Safety Tips

WebMD: Pet Winter Safety: Prepping Your Pet for Winter Weather

American Veterinary Medical Association: Cold Weather Animal Safety

Location

Find us on the map

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Monday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Tuesday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Wednesday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Thursday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Friday:

8:00 am-7:30 pm

Saturday:

8:30 am-1:30 pm

Sunday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

Testimonials

Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Absolutely incredible service and the best veterinary experience we have ever had. Every time we visit Progressive Vet Care, we are blown away by the attentiveness, professionalism and care shown by Dr Tim and the team. Dr Tim is highly capable and we feel very confident that our dog is in his care. Dr Tim always has time and goes above and beyond in answering our questions and providing a great service. I highly recommend Progressive Vet Care. I seriously cannot think of a single improvement to this practice as everything is already so well done."
    Shavini
  • "Fantastic friendly and professional service at this practice -so glad we have found this vet!"
    Adriana
  • "Tim and the team run an amazing vet practice at Progressive Vet Care. Gus the pug nearly died when he ate a keyring last year but Tim saves his life, quite literally. We are blessed to have such a great vet around the corner and their renovated practice is beautiful."
    Pip
  • "I highly recommend Progressive Vet Care. I used to take my dog to a different vet clinic for 10 years but when my dog got very sick, I just didn’t feel right and looked for a different clinic. Thank god I found Progressive Vet Care. Dr Tim was spot on with diagnosis and he & his team did everything they could for Leo. It was a very sad experience for our family to say good bye to Leo but I was so grateful to Dr Tim for his professionalism, loving care and compassion towards both Leo and our family. I wish I knew Dr Tim 10 years ago and took Leo to this fantastic clinic from the first place."
    Shinko
  • "Our first experience with Progressive Vet Care and extremely happy. Our dog needed emergency surgery which is always stressful to hear. Dr Tim was very supportive and gave us options to consider. He saw us on short notice on a Friday night and managed to fit our dog in Saturday morning for the surgery. Highly recommend !"
    Kerrie
  • "I brought my puppy here for his first visit and the staff were so helpful and attentive. A welcoming and happy environment, glad I chose this place!
    (And thanks for the help over the phone when I had concerns about my puppy, the girls at reception are so lovely!)"
    Stefani
  • "We were so grateful to Dr Tim (Bowden) and the team at Progressive Vet Care for their care and treatment of our very special Jack Russell x in the last few weeks of her life. I discovered the practice through looking for a vet that was open on a Sunday. They also have an emergency number to talk through concerns after hours. Dr. Tim was so thorough and patient in explaining all the options. We had the best, most compassionate care I could have wished for."
    Roz
  • "If i could give 10 stars i would. Dr Tim is a miracle worker he has fixed up my little Lolly and is always super attentive and thorough. Could not recommend this place any more.
    Love it!"
    Andy
  • "Exceptional service and trust. I recommend this vet clinic to any friends who welcome a new pet into their home. They work closely with rescue groups, the vets are very knowledgeable and the team who coordinate the reception are wonderfully friendly and easy to deal with. Won't be taking my doggo anywhere else!"
    Tassie
  • ""I adopted my cat from progressive vet care, he is the most beautiful loving boy, not only did they take amazing care of him as a new born kitten, they provided wonderful health care to him and have continued with such great care of him with each of our visit, such a wonderful team""
    Katrina
  • "The experience we had with Progressive Vet Care was outstanding. Both Dr Tim and the other staff members were efficient and helpful. Also very compassionate towards our dog Millie when she was desexed and afterward care. Soon we will need to take her for her vaccinations. There is definitely no other place I will take my Millie. Well done guys and many thanks."
    Maryanne
  • "We were very happy with Progressive Vet Care. Dr Tim was very thorough and even called up four days later to check on the progress of our whippet after his treatment and advise. I am going to bring all my animals to this vet clinic in future."
    Jessica