Winter Safety Guidelines

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Fur coats don’t protect pets from hypothermia and frostbite. 
Keep your furry friends safe, warm, and happy in cold weather.


Did you know?

  • Fur loses its insulating ability when wet 
  • Paw pads, ears, and noses are more vulnerable to frostbite
  • Antifreeze is lethal to dogs and cats, even in small doses — be vigilant
  • Vehicles act like refrigerators in the winter, holding in cold
  • Cars left running are a carbon monoxide risk to animals inside 
  • Pets can be stolen from vehicles

Make sure to

  • Provide pets a warm, insulated place to sleep, free from drafts
  • Make sure fireplaces have screens, and portable heaters are out of pets’ reach


  • Limit outdoor time for puppies, senior dogs, small and short-haired dog breeds in cold or wet weather – consider boots and a sweater/coat if your dog doesn’t mind being bundled!
  • Thoroughly dry feet, legs, and stomach when your dog comes in from the snow
  • Keep an eye on sensitive paw pads, which can be injured from snow, ice, and salt spread on sidewalks
  • Do not allow dogs off-leash in a snowstorm — they can easily lose their scent and become disoriented and lost
  • Provide outdoor dogs with an insulated doghouse with straw bedding (NOT blankets)
  • Feed outdoor dogs an increased protein-heavy diet to provide energy for warmth
  • Provide outdoor dogs fresh water in a non-metal dish

SIGNS OF DISTRESS – bring them inside!

  • Excessive shivering
  • Lifting paws
  • Licking/biting paws
  • Refusing to play


  • Cats’ bodies are not meant to withstand low temperatures – keep your cat indoors
  • Outdoor cats will seek warmth in winter — like the engine of a parked vehicle. Before starting your car, check surroundings for paw prints, bang on the hood, or honk the horn to allow cats a chance to escape. 



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