Winter Pet Safety in Plainview

Stay Safe & Warm with Our Winter Pet Safety Tips

In Plainview, our winters can get dangerously cold. Just because our pets don furry coats all year long doesn’t mean they’re immune to the cold! While cold-weather breeds like Huskies are more suited to winter weather, they can still suffer from frostbite on their delicate noses, tips of their ears, tips of their tails, and their paw pads, too! Meanwhile, short-haired breeds like Boxers are simply unsuited for cold weather, and need some extra attention to make sure they don’t get too cold.

Tips for Winter Safety

In the event the temperature drops to dangerous levels and it’s too cold for you to be outside for long, the same rule applies to your pet! Keep your cats indoors, and let your dogs out only for quick potty breaks.

Even with thick coats, our pets can start to get chilled if they’re outside too long! Either make sure they have a way to come back indoors, or they have somewhere warm to curl up outside.

Sidewalks are often covered in salt and deicers to make them safer for people walking, but these chemicals can cause severe irritation to your pet’s feet. Make sure to remove any salt or deicers after the walk, taking care to check between their toes!

In addition to their feet, salt, deicers, and even snow and ice can accumulate on your pet’s fur on their legs and belly. If left alone, they can cause irritation to your pet’s skin. Wipe your pet down after every walk to remove any irritants!

Your pet may be covered in thick fur, but the tips of their ears, tails, toes, and their noses are all vulnerable to the cold. Look for symptoms of frostbite which include skin with a very pale, bluish-white hue and ice may form around the area as well. If you notice these symptoms, warm the area with a warmed towel, but do not rub the area, as this could be painful. As the area warms, it should become red and may swell a little. If the ear darkens instead, seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.

Short-haired breeds will likely need a jacket of their own in colder weather to keep them warm and prevent hypothermia. Signs of hypothermia include lethargy, shivering, burrowing for warmth, and being cold to the touch. If you think your pet may have hypothermia, bring them indoors as soon as possible, dry them if they are wet, wrap them in a warm blanket, and allow them to drink warmed water. If symptoms do not improve, contact your veterinarian.

To keep warm, feral cats have been known to crawl into car engines where it’s nice and cozy. Before you start your car, knock on the hood or honk your horn to give them a chance to escape.

Looking for more winter pet safety tips? Contact our animal hospital or ask us at your next visit!