Think your pet will be just fine staying outdoors this winter? Think again. While certain dog breeds are well-equipped to manage the cold, even they can be in danger of developing frostbite or hypothermia if kept outside for too long. That’s why we recommend using common sense when winter rolls around; just as you would keep your pet inside during the summer to stay cool, they should also stay inside much of the time to keep warm. We would also suggest getting a warm jacket for your pet to wear on walks, especially if they have a fine and/or short coat.
If your pet absolutely needs to remain outside for a few hours, make sure they have a warm, dry shelter with comfortable bedding, protection from the wind, and access to fresh food and water at all times.
Cold temperatures aren’t the only winter hazard your pet might encounter. Antifreeze might keep your car running, but it can be very dangerous if your pet ingests it. The sweet smell and taste of antifreeze is attractive to pets, so be sure to check for spills in your garage and driveway, and keep containers tightly sealed and far out of your pet’s reach.
Sidewalk salt is another concern—it can hurt your pet’s feet when they walk on it, and if your pet decides to lick the salt off of their paws or coat, it can burn their mouths, too. If ingested in large enough quantities, it can also make them very sick. We recommend investing in protective footwear for your pet if possible, or walking them in salt-free areas.