Winter weather can be hard on all of us. It can be particularly difficult on our pets that rely on us for their wellbeing, especially for outdoor dogs and cats. To help keep your entire family safe and warm, the American Red Cross has winter safety reminders for both you and your pets.
- If possible, bring your pets inside during cold winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas and make sure they have access to non-frozen drinking water.
- If the animals are outside, make sure their access to food and water is not blocked by snow drifts, ice or other obstacles.
- 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.