Winter Pet Care Tips


If your pet is kept outdoors, provide a warm insulated pet house or shelter with plenty of warm bedding (straw). The house should be elevated enough so that moisture cannot accumulate inside and should have a door or flap to keep out the winter winds. The opening should face southward. If the wind chill drops below 20 degrees the pet needs to be brought inside regardless of your housing.


Some substances produced to melt ice and snow can cause irritation. Read the labels and take necessary precautions. Use pet safe salt if possible. Keep salt stored away from your pet's reach and be sure to rinse any salt from your pet's paws immediately.


Even a small amount of antifreeze can be fatal. Precautions are necessary with almost all antifreeze products on the market. Thoroughly clean all spills at once and contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has licked any antifreeze. It tends to be sweet and appealing to pets. Toxicity causes crystals and failure of the kidneys.

Napping cats

Cats sometimes climb into vehicle engines for warmth. Before starting your car, knock on the hood and honk the horn. Even if your cat doesn't go outside, a neighbor's cat may have taken shelter there.

Water and food

Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet. If your pet lives outdoors, be sure to check the water for freezing. There are plenty of water warmers on the market to keep the water from freezing. If you cannot keep the water ice free, your pet needs to come indoors.

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