With much of the eastern United States and some other parts of the country experiencing an historic blizzard this coming weekend, now is a great time to review some ways to keep your pets safe in the winter weather:
- Use a humidifier in your home if possible. The dryness can irritate your pet’s skin.
- Towel dry your pet’s paws as soon as they come inside. The cold can cause skin irritation and, at worst, frostbite.
- Rub a bit of petroleum jelly onto your pet’s paws before letting them outside whenever there is the potential for salt on the ground, as the petroleum protects against the salt and other snow-removing chemical agents used in the wintertime. Booties are also an option. Again, wipe off your pet’s paws thoroughly as soon as they get inside. Licking the chemical snow melting agents from their paws can make your pet extremely ill.
- Avoid exposing your pet to drafts and keep them from sleeping on the floor. Even a couple of towels or a blanket is a help and will prevent your pet from sleeping on the bare floor. Make sure he or she isn’t sleeping near a drafty door.
- Avoid prolonged exposure to the cold. Even beyond the risk of frostbite, pets can freeze to death from exposure to cold just like humans. If it’s too cold or there’s a weather advisory, don’t let your pet outside for more than the time it takes to go to the bathroom. If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.
- Use propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. Traditional antifreeze is made of ethylene glycol and is poisonous to animals. Use products made of propylene glycol instead. The ingredient in the antifreeze will be listed on the side of the bottle.
By following these few basic tips, you can ensure that your pet will remain happy, safe, and healthy through the winter.