Pet Safety in Cold Weather

As cold weather approaches, many people take steps to make certain that their homes and automobiles are prepared for the cold temperatures. However, many people fail to consider how the cold weather will impact their pets. Like humans, pets are susceptible to exposure from cold temperatures. In order to keep pets healthy, happy and safe, pet owners need to take a few simple steps.

Access to Water and Food 

Many pets have outside water bowls, especially horses and other large animals. During cold weather, it is important for pet owners to frequently check the water to make certain that the water is not frozen. The ice may need removed and the water replaced a few times a day. In especially cold climates, heated water dishes may be needed to keep the water from freezing. It is also important that sturdy water bowls are used. A pet that has become wet from spilled water in cold weather may become sick or even die from exposure to cold temperatures. Pets also burn a lot of calories in cold weather. Pet owners need to make certain that pets have an adequate supply of food. Animals that stay outside will need more food in cold weather, than in warmer weather.

Protect Susceptible Breeds 

Smaller animals and those with short hair have less protection from the cold than other animals. Pet owners need to use common sense when determining how much time an animal can spend outside. For example, a Siberian Husky may enjoy playing in the snow for a few hours, but a greyhound will only want to spend a few minutes outside. If an animal has short hair, or has hair that has been trimmed short, a sweater should be placed on the animal when it is outside. Animals should not be walked on salt or other ice melting substances as the ice melters often have sharp edges and can cause chemical burns.