- Outdoor cats and other animals sometimes seek shelter under the hoods of cars, putting them at risk of injury or even death by the fan belt when the motor is started. You can bang loudly on the hood before starting the engine to startle the animal and give it a chance to escape.
- Always keep your dogs on-leash when outside, especially during snowstorms, as they can easily get lost. Ensure your dog is licensed and always wears an ID tag. Learn more about licensing your pets.
- Salt, antifreeze or other chemicals used in the winter time can be dangerous to your dog if ingested. Make sure you wipe your dog's legs and stomach from any sleet, snow or ice to avoid them from licking it, or causing any discomfort.
- Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, consider a longer coat for more warmth. Always make sure your dog is completely dry before taking it out for a walk and if you own a short-haired breed, consider getting outerwear with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.
- Never leave your pets in a car during the cold - they can freeze.
- Take into consideration your dog's age, breed, and medical history when letting them outdoors in the cold - limit their time outdoors depending on these factors.
- Your pet's ears and paws are especially susceptible to frostbite in the winter. Frostbite requires immediate medical attention from a veterinarian.
If you evacuate your home for any reason, be sure to take your pets with you. Look to family or friends to help house your pets if you are unable to, and make sure any warming stations you visit are pet friendly.
Be prepared - make a pet emergency kit that includes:
- An emergency contact list with contact information of friends and family, emergency vet clinics, local animal shelters, boarding kennels etc.
- Food, treats and medications (if required)
- Pet first aid kit
- Blankets (for you and your pet)
- Collars and leashes
- Food/water bowls and litter pans
- Litter for cats and poop bags for dogs
- A crate adequate enough to transport and house your pet
- Make sure your pet is wearing a collar with an identification tag and keep any health records as well as pictures and proof of ownership available