Do you know how to keep your pets safe from the cold this winter? 

When it comes to colder temperatures, it can be unsafe to leave your pet outside for long periods of time. If your pet gets too cold, or experiences a winter or non-winter emergency, make sure you choose our team! Steel City Emergency Vets in Birmingham is an emergency vet with after hours to keep your pet safe. 

Your Guide to Winter Pet Safety

Do you know the different ways the cold weather can affect your furry friend? Our winter guide to pet safety will give you some tips for keeping your pet safe and protected this winter. 

Give Them a Shelter

The safest place for your pet during the winter is inside your house. It’s also where they’re happiest! But if they have to be outside for any reason, make sure you have the right shelter that is: 

  • Dry and free of drafts
  • Raised a few inches from the ground to keep them warmer 
  • Large enough for them to move around but small enough for them to retain their body heat
  • Covered with straw or cedar shavings to keep them insulated, along with burlap or plastic covering the doorway 

While your pet is outside, you also want to make sure they have plenty of water — and that it’s not frozen. If it’s possible, keep your pet warm and safe in a heated, indoor space.

Watch for Poisons

There are some common winter chemicals that are hazardous for your pet: antifreeze, coolants, and de-icing salts. It’s more common to have these materials outside or stored in your garage during the winter, so just make sure they’re stored properly and in a place where your pets — and children — can’t reach them!

Check Their Paws

When you let your pet back inside, check their paws for signs of cold-weather injury or damage. This could include cracked paws or bleeding. You’ll also want to watch their paws for damage after walking over de-icing salt.

Pro tip: Massaging petroleum jelly or another paw protectant into their paw pads before a walk can help keep their feet safe. Booties are another way to keep their feet warm and protected!

Speak Out

If you see other pets, or homeless animals, that are too cold or left outside for too long, speak up! Take the time to educate their owners or call your local humane society.

Keep Them Dry

It can be hard to not bathe your pet — especially if they’re blowing coat. But washing your pet when it’s cold can dry out their skin or make them too cold when they go outside. 

Remember Their Collar

Is your pet chipped and collared? If your pet gets lost, the snow and cold can make it harder for them to find their way home. 

Keep Them Fed

If your pet is burning more energy during the winter, make sure you keep them at a healthy weight! 

Myth: You don’t need your pet to gain extra weight during the winter to stay warm. The health risks don’t make that extra weight worth it. Instead, just focus on keeping them at a healthy weight.

Trust Your Emergency Vets in Birmingham

Just remember: if it’s too cold for you outside, it’s also too cold for your pet! 

Whether your pet gets too cold this winter or experiences a different emergency problem, you can trust our dedicated team at Steel City Emergency Vets in Birmingham.