A Guide to Pet Safety in Sub-Zero Temperatures

As our thermometers dip below the zero mark this winter, we must be aware of our pet’s safety as well as our own. Use these tips from a Reynoldsburg veterinarian to keep your pet safe during the freezing weather.

Keep Pets Inside

Want to keep your pet warm, safe, and happy this winter? Bring them indoors with you and your family. This is the easiest way to ensure their safety. Pets left outdoors are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, and can eventually freeze to death if left unattended. Even if you own a pet that spends most of its time outside, encourage them to come in when it’s below zero.

Keep Outdoor Sessions Brief

When you do let your pet outdoors for a bathroom break or exercise session, make it very quick—a few minutes at most. Let your pet do his business or romp around for a few minutes, then bring him back in quickly and get warmed up again.

Watch for Frostbite

If you notice your pet’s skin is pale and cold to the touch, lack of sensation, or pale lips, frostbite could be setting in. Call your veterinary professional immediately to determine how to proceed. They may instruct you with care steps to take at home, or ask that you bring your pet into the clinic right away.

Beware of Antifreeze

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that is poisonous to pets. It also has a sweet taste that attracts animals, so be sure to clean up any spills and store antifreeze containers safely away from pets.

Wipe Down Your Pet

Every time your pet comes in from the cold outdoors, wipe down his legs, paws, belly, and body with a large, soft towel. This will remove all ice, snow, de-icer chemicals, antifreeze, and road salt from the coat. Sometimes, pets can be poisoned simply by licking chemicals off of their paws once they’re inside.

Ask your Reynoldsburg veterinarian for more helpful tips for sub-zero safety for your pet.

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