Top 5 Winter Pet Safety Tips Pet Parents Should Know
As wintertime rolls around, it’s important to learn how to keep your pet safe and protected during the colder months of the year. Winter can pose its own set of hazards for pets, so take time to brush up on the basics of pet safety at this time and learn about some winter pet safety tips to help prevent these hazards.
In the article below, you’ll find a few simple tips to help you protect your pets this winter. Take time to read through them all, and be sure to ask your vet if you have any more questions or concerns. If your pet is experiencing an emergency, or you’re unsure if emergency care is needed, you should always contact an emergency vet to make sure your pet gets the care they need.
Important Pet Safety Tips to Keep in Mind During the Winter Months
Below are 5 pet safety tips pet owners should know for the winter months:
Learn How to Recognize the Signs of Frostbite
If your pet spends a lot of time outdoors during the colder months, you should know how to recognize frostbite before it gets out of hand. When you bring your pet in from outdoors, wipe down her paws to remove any ice or snow, then check the paw pads and any other exposed skin on her body thoroughly for signs of frostbite.
Signs of frostbite include the skin turning gray, blue, or very pale as well as noticeable coldness to the touch. Your pet may show signs that she is in pain from the frostbite, and there may be visible blisters in more severe cases. In extreme cases, the skin may turn black and may be dying off.
You should take your pet to the emergency vet if you suspect frostbite so you can prevent the loss of skin tissue.
Keep Your Pet Away from Holiday Food
During the winter months, it is common for families to get together and celebrate a wide variety of holidays. However, it’s important for you to protect your pet by keeping her away from the holiday food. Household pets are sure to be interested in the food you’re cooking, but they do not need to share in it.
If you want your pet to be part of the holiday meal, consider buying a premade pet food blend designed to mimic holiday foods. You may also be able to feed your pet some plain, unseasoned, cooked protein and a couple of plain, cooked vegetables from your meal—but do your research first, based on the type of pet you have.
Be Mindful of Your Pet with Holiday Decorations
Holiday decorations can be very enticing to some pets. Dogs, cats, and even pets like ferrets or rabbits may become interested in the décor and may try to play with it or eat it. When your pet is out in the house, supervise the way she interacts with the holiday decorations to make sure she remains safe.
Ingesting part of a holiday decoration can be extremely dangerous and even potentially fatal to your pet. If you think there is any chance your pet might have swallowed an item like this, don’t wait—take her to the emergency vet right away.
Do Not Force Your Pet to Walk on Ice or Snow Other Than for Quick Potty Breaks
If it is below freezing outside and there is a lot of snow or ice on the ground, do not make your pet walk on this cold surface more than she absolutely must for a potty break. If you do need to take your pet on a walk—for example, if you have a very energetic dog who needs to blow off some steam—consider pet booties to help protect her feet.
An important pet safety tip to keep in mind is to not keep your pet outside for too long in below-freezing temperatures, even if she does have on booties.
Have Backup Blankets in Case the Power Goes Out
If the power goes out in your home, you and your pets alike will need a way to stay warm. It’s a good idea to keep backup blankets for your pet so she can snuggle up in a comfortable, warm place in your house while she waits for the power to come back on again.
If you live in a very cold climate, you should also try to have a backup heat source, for your pet’s safety as well as for your own. If you cannot, however, lots of blankets and cuddling with each other can be useful as well.
Contact Us for Additional Winter Pet Safety Tips
As you can see, there are a lot of tips you should keep in mind when the weather turns cold. However, by taking time to prepare and paying close attention to your pet throughout the winter, you can make sure she remains healthy, happy, and safe all year long.
Be sure you keep information about your pet’s emergency vet handy, not just in the winter months. This way, if anything does happen to go wrong, you don’t have to panic trying to find contact information for the emergency vet in the middle of a crisis. Having this information handy can help you protect your pet even better than ever before.
For additional winter pet safety tips, or if you have a question regarding your pet’s health, contact our team at VEG. We have locations all over the country, with the majority of them being open 24/7 and all being open 24 hours on weekends and holidays. We care about your pet’s health as much as you do, so don’t wait. Call and speak to our experienced and caring emergency veterinarians now.
Dr. Jenifer Nezerka DVM, VEG Denver
Undergraduate: Northwest Missouri State University,
Veterinary School: Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine
VEG is a network of Emergency Veterinarians located across the country. We are dedicated to helping people and their pets when they need it most. If your pet is ever in an emergency situation, use the link below to find our nearest location so we can get your pet the help they need.