Cold Weather Hazards

The temperatures start dipping and our pets face new hazards. Be aware of what can happen and take precautions to keep them safe.


Young, old, or sick pets should not spend much time outdoors when the temperatures are cold. They have a more difficult time keeping themselves warm, and all pets, regardless of age, are at risk for frostbite.


Arthritic pets often become stiff with the cold weather.  They can easily slip on snow or ice. Watch them closely or use a short leash to keep them from falling.

Staying Warm

Dogs and cats need a winterized house or shelter that is just big enough to turn around and stand in, insulated with straw, wood shavings, or blankets, has a waterproof flap covering the door, and the door facing away from the wind. Be sure to change any bedding or dry it frequently as it gets wet from snow your pet brings in.


Make sure your pet has fresh water. Use a heated water bowl or change the water several times a day.  Don’t use a metal bowl if it’s not heated.  

Snow and Ice

Snow, ice and salt can irritate pads and the area between the toes. Take precautions like washing your pet’s paws with warm water to remove ice and salt when he comes indoors. Even use booties to help prevent this problem!


Some of the products human use can be poisonous to pets. Wipe up any spills immediately. If you can find pet-safe products, use those. Windshield de-icing products, antifreeze, and wiper fluid can all cause serious problems for your pet.

Final Points

Cats will often try to keep warm under the hood of a car. Before you start up your car, bang on the hood to scare them off.  


If you have a fenced in yard, prevent snow from building up along the fence. This makes a perfect spot for adventurous dogs to climb over and take off.



Just like humans, some pets like the cold weather and others hate it. Regardless, take precautions so your pet stays healthy and avoids injuries during the winter months.

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