Caring For Your Pets in Cold Weather

These were copied from an email sent by the Dawson county Humane Society.

1) Do not leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. If you have outdoor dogs, bring them inside. Pets are at risk of frostbite, hypothermia and death during extreme cold snaps, and wind chill is particularly dangerous. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paws can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

2) If you care for community, unowned cats (often called feral cats), be sure they have access to fresh water-use deep bowls rather than wide ones, and refill them with hot or warm water twice a day. Feed cats on a regular schedule and consider adding wet food, which is easier to digest and allows cats to save more energy for keeping warm. Protect them from the elements by providing cat shelters. You can build one yourself or convert Rubbermaid storage bins, Styrofoam coolers or small dog houses into shelters.

3) During the winter, community cats cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are community cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine.

4) Like coolant, antifreeze is lethal for pets. Thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

5) Avoid salt and chemical melting products. They can be toxic to animals and harmful to their paws.

6) Wipe your pet’s paws and stomach when she comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. She could ingest salt, antifreeze or other dangerous chemicals while licking her paws.

7) Do not let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm: dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.

8) Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train her inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take her outdoors only to relieve herself.

9) Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater.

These tips were taken from the following resources: ASPCA,, and KY Humane Society.

Please read more safety tips from ASPCA by clicking here:
ASPCA Cold Weather Safety Tips