Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips

Cold weather has arrived! While that means plenty of fun-filled days in the snow for you and your furry friend, there's also many things to consider so they’re safe and sound during the colder months. 

Bundle Up! 

Some pet parents may think that their furry friends have a high tolerance to cold because of their fur, but that isn’t always the case. Pets are similar to humans in that their tolerances to cold can vary, so it’s important to dress them for the weather outside to keep them happy and healthy! No matter the size or breed of your furry friend, there are a variety of winter jackets available to help them stay warm and cozy while outdoors. And remember, if it’s too cold for you to stay outside, it’s likely too cold for your beloved companion! 

Car Safety 

Many pet parents are aware of the dangers of leaving your pet in a hot car, but it can also be dangerous to leave them in a cold car. If you have errands to run and the places you need to visit aren’t pet-friendly, the safest option is to leave your pet at home. When leaving a family gathering over the holidays you may realize that you need to pick something up at a store where pets aren’t welcome. Leaving your pet in the car for a few minutes while you run into the store may not seem like a big deal, but making a pit stop to drop them off at home beforehand is the smart thing to do. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving your pet at home alone, ask a friend or family member if they can watch them as this is much safer than leaving them in a cold car. 

If you have an outdoor cat, the safest thing to do is keep them indoors when it’s cold out. When it’s cold outside, some cats will seek shelter and warmth in the wheel wells of cars. Before you get in your car and turn it on, whether heading to work in the morning or quickly stepping out, make some noise and tap on the hood and tires to alert any cat that may be hiding. 

Easy to Identify 

Your pet’s ability to track scents and find their way home when it’s snowy and icy out may not be as good as it is during the warmer months. That’s why it’s important that you make sure your pet is easily identifiable should they ever get lost. Over time, the legibility of your pet’s identification tag can decrease. It’s important to make sure your pet’s tag is not only up to date with both your phone number and emergency contact, but that it is in good condition as well. Microchipping your pet is also a great way to easily identify them if they get lost. You can even invest in a GPS tracking collar that syncs with your smartphone, helping you keep track of and locate your pet more quickly. 

Plan Ahead 

Canadian winters can be absolutely beautiful, but they can also bring brutal storms! A light dusting of snow can quickly change to a fierce blizzard, and it’s important to be prepared should you and your furry friend be stuck at home for longer than anticipated. Make sure you have enough food and water on hand for your family members (four-legged ones included!) as well as any necessary medications in case you’re unable to leave the house for several days. 

Modify Your Walking Routine 

During the warmer months, you and your pet may be used to taking walks along the lakeshore or other bodies of water. As the weather gets colder, steer clear of these bodies of water as they start to freeze. A lake or pond may appear to be completely frozen and solid, but it’s not worth the risk of your pet falling through! 

Consider shortening the length of your pet’s walks when it’s very cold out, as they are still susceptible to dangers such as frostbite. You’ll also want to keep a close eye on your pet while walking if it is very snowy out, as patches of ice can be hidden and can result in an injury if your pet slips. Take your time, don’t rush and enjoy careful, leisurely walks during these times. You should also keep your pet away from any puddles that you encounter while walking in the winter, as these could contain antifreeze or other winter maintenance chemicals that can be seriously harmful to pets. 

Protect Their Paws 

Many salts used to melt ice in the winter can irritate your pet’s paws. Pet booties, such as the RC Pets Sport PAWks, can help protect your furry friend’s paws in the colder weather! Ideal for indoor and outdoor wear, RC Pets Sport PAWks offer superior grip and protection from outdoor irritants, while keeping your fur baby’s paws warm! If you take your pet for a walk without any booties, make sure you wipe down their paws and legs when you return home to remove any potential irritants. Depending on where your adventure took you, it’s also a good idea to wipe down their belly just in case!

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