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Red Cross Has Resources to Help Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them

WASHINGTON, DC, February 25, 2016—Winterweather can be hard on everyone. Low temperatures, snow and ice can be especially difficult for pets. The American Red Cross has resources available to help ensure pets’ safety when cold weather hits and reminds everyone that if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.

“Our pets are members of our family, and the fact that they can’t tell us what they are feeling can make them the most vulnerable members when cold weather hits,” said Deborah C. Mandell, VMD, DACVECC, member of the American Red Cross Scientific Advisory Council, and staff veterinarian and professor of emergency and critical care, academic clinician at Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. “There are some simple steps any pet owner can take to make sure pets stay safe. And for lifesaving information at the touch of a finger, the Red Cross offers its free Pet First Aid App, which is a great resource for owners of pets and other animals.”

Dr. Mandell recommends bringing your pets inside during cold winter weather. If you have outdoor animals or livestock, she advises moving them to sheltered areas and making sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water and that sources of food and water are not blocked by snow, ice or other obstacles.

The following tips on winter pet safety are provided by The Humane Society of the United States:

  • If pets cannot come indoors, make sure they are protected by a dry, draft-free enclosure large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in the pet’s body heat. Raise the floor a few inches off the ground and cover it with cedar shavings or straw. Turn the enclosure away from the wind and cover the doorway with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
  • Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
  • Antifreeze is a deadly poison. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.
  • Downloading the Red Cross Pet First Aid App gives users instant access to expert information on how to maintain their pet’s health and what to do during emergencies. Users have access to instructions, videos and images for more than 25 common emergency situations for animals. In addition to learning about what to do for cold- and heat-related emergencies, users can also learn how to treat their pet’s wounds, control bleeding, and care for breathing and cardiac emergencies.

    For more information on how to prepare for winter weather, visit the winter storm safety information section on

    Red Cross Public Affairs, Phone: (202) 303-5551,, FOR MEDIA ONLY

    About the American Red Cross:
    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.