Freezing Temperatures Move Into Northwest: Tips on Keeping Pets Safe and Warm


The Oregon Humane Society offers these tips to keep pets safe and healthy during cold weather:  

Pets are Best Kept Inside  

    * Bring pets indoors when temperatures reach 30 degrees with or without wind chill.  

    * Wipe your pet’s paws clean after walks—chemicals used to melt ice and snow on sidewalks can irritate pets' paws and can be dangerous if ingested.

    * Indoor pets get less exercise in the cold months, so feed them less. 

If Your Pet Must be Kept Outside 

    * An outdoor dog needs a dry, elevated shelter with clean, dry bedding and a flap over the opening to keep drafts out.

    * Consider adding a dog door to the garage, and then place a soft cushion in the warmest corner of the garage for your dog.

    * Make sure drinking water is not frozen. Check bowls periodically throughout the day. Even in cold weather, pets need water.

    * Use plastic food and water bowls rather than metal; when the temperature is low, your pet's tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

    * Give outdoor pets more food. Outdoor pets need calories to produce body heat.  

For Both Indoor and Outdoor Pets  

    * Make sure a cat hasn't crawled under your car seeking warmth near the engine. Slap the car hood before starting the engine to startle any animal sleeping there.

    * After a walk, check your pet‘s paws for bleeding or cuts from snow or encrusted ice.

    * Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the pet to freeze to death.  

For More Info  

Visit the OHS website for more tips for “winterizing” your pet: 

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The Oregon Humane Society is the Northwest's oldest and largest humane society. OHS relies entirely on donations to support its adoption, education, and animal cruelty investigation programs. Visit for more information.