While it’s been a mild winter in the Northwest this year, some chilly days and weeks still lie ahead.
Despite their fur coats, pets feel the cold just as humans do. The follow safety tips are offered by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute:
- Know your pet. Pets’ tolerance for cold varies. When out for walks, provide a jacket for short-haired, elderly or frail dogs.
- Forgo haircuts. Save shearing for warmer months.
- Check ears, paws and tails regularly. Check for signs of frostbite, raw spots or debris.
- Wipe your pet’s belly, legs and paws. Have a clean towel ready for when your dog comes inside to remove ice-melting chemicals, which can irritate and cause serious illness if licked or swallowed.
- Clean antifreeze spills. Attracted to the sweet smell and taste, pets will lick or drink antifreeze, which is toxic to cats and dogs. Clean spills and consider using a brand made from propylene glycol, which is less toxic.
- Keep water flowing. Dry winter weather can be dehydrating. Keep fresh water free of ice inside and out.
- Provide a warm bed. Give your pet a warm, cozy bed and plenty of elevated places inside to warm up.
- Leave Fido at home. You know the dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car, but did you know the practice can be just as hazardous in winter? When running errands, it’s always best to leave dogs at home.