8 pet safety tips for winter
1. Beware of anti-freeze! Ingesting antifreeze is lethal. Unfortunately both cats and dogs have been known to lick this sweet tasting substance. Make sure to check your car for leaks and make sure all bottles are stored far away from your pets.
2. Don’t leave your pets outside for prolonged periods of time. In freezing temperatures that are below zero, frostbite can happen in a matter of minutes--especially for puppies, senior pets and smaller animals.
3. Beware of “ice salt”!! The salt we put down to keep the ice on our walkways and driveways to a minimum can be poisonous for cats and dogs. They can get the salt grains stuck in their paw pads and when they go to clean them, they ingest the chemicals that are in the “ice salt” and this can be fatal.
4. If you have a dog or cat with a thin coat, it is best to keep them inside during the cold weather. Hypothermia is a real possibility for animals that have thin coats and very little hair to protect them. Just like you need your winter coat they should have one for the cold days too.
5. The changing of seasons is great time to check your pet ID tags and microchip. Just take 5 minutes to make sure your entire pet’s information is up to date and in proper order. Winter is a horrible time for a dog or cat to get “lost”. It is much harder for them to track their way back home because of the snow covered ground and the cold weather can disorientate them.
6. Fire hazards. Portable heaters are great to warm up a room but when left unattended with a pet can become very hazardous. A pet can move a blanket or curtain too close or knock over the space heater easily. If you use these, make sure to turn them off when you leave the house.
7. Check your car for small animals that may have found a warm place to rest within your car’s engine or by the tires. Kittens are notorious for this.
8. NO metal bowls during cold temperatures. An animals tongue can freeze to metal. Inside a warm house, no problem but in the garage or outside, it would be best to switch them out for the plastic kind.
Animal Welfare League
10305 Southwest Highway, Chicago Ridge, IL 60415