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4 Pet Safety Tips in Cold Weather

People with pets know that their pets aren’t just animals– they are additional members of the family.  Whether it is a dog, a cat, a fish, or a hamster, pets are beloved and we want to do our best to ensure that they are safe, happy, and healthy.  Having a pet is a lot of work, but you may need to even go a step further when the cold weather hits.  Though many of our animal friends rock fur coats, we still need to take preventative measures to keep them safe during the winter.  Read about 4 pet safety tips in cold weather.

Indoors is Better

The ASPCA points out, “…if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet, so keep your animals inside.”  Those days when it is just too cold to even think about going outside, your pet shouldn’t be outside as much either.  If you have a high energy dog, quick walks or a short fetch game can ease some of the restlessness, but don’t leave your pet to just wander outside.  According to The Humane Society of the United States, cats, even those used to having freedom outside, should not be left out at all during cold weather.

It’s Sweater Weather

Short haired dogs will probably appreciate wearing a sweater when outside.  It may not be your favorite look, but it is important for pet safety and warmth. Also, winter is not the time for a short hair cut for any animal.  On longer coated dogs, you may want to give a little trim just to help prevent ice balls clinging and chemicals from getting on his or her fur.

Wipe Your Feet!

Just as you wipe your feet, or take off your boots when coming inside on a cold snowy day, your pet’s feet should be wiped as well.  You want to get off any chemicals or salt used to de-ice sidewalks and roads as these can be irritating and poisonous.  If your dog ingests any rock salt, call a vet right away.  Smaller dogs may need to have their bellies wiped as well.  Take a moment to wipe in between in the toes and clear out any ice balls that may have formed.

Stay Clear of Poisons

Rock salt and other de-icers can be poisonous to dogs, so try and use pet friendly de-icing products.  Antifreeze is also very poisonous.  If any spills, clean it up right away.  Furthermore, your dog will be spending more time inside, so be very careful about potential poisons and hazards in the home.  Though it may be tempting to have your pet clean up the spilled chocolate chips, chocolate can be toxic.

One of the best things you can do to promote pet safety when the cold weather hits is .provide a warm and dry home for them.  Make sure that your furnace or boiler is running properly.  If you haven’t done so already, have it inspected to check for any potential problems or dangers such as carbon monoxide leaks.  For more information about keeping your home (and pets) warm this winter, contact FLAME!

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