During a normal year, a winter pet safety blog is probably the last thing you would expect to read in St. Petersburg, but this is no normal year. With temperatures dropping into the 30s and 40s this winter and even some snow making an appearance, we decided that a discussion about protecting our furry friends from the elements was in order.
Regardless of how excited your pet may be about snow and cold weather, be mindful of how much time they spend outdoors. Bring pets indoors when the temperature drops below 32 degrees (or provide them with adequate shelter that will protect them from wind and elements), and consider a sweater or other outerwear for walks and potty breaks.
Staying hydrated is just as important in the winter as it is during other times of the year. Make sure they have access to fresh, unfrozen water at all times while outdoors.
Watch Those Chemicals
An easy, but important, step in winter pet safety is to care for your pet’s paws. Snow, ice, salt, and chemical deicers can do a number on paw pads, which is why we recommend wiping their paws with a wet cloth each time they come in from outside.
Each year, thousands of pets die due to antifreeze poisoning. Its sweet odor and taste make it irresistible to pets, but even a small amount can cause kidney failure if ingested. Pets are more likely to be exposed to antifreeze during the winter, so safety in this area is a must.
- Clean up antifreeze spills immediately
- Store unused antifreeze out of your pet’s reach
- Switch to a pet-friendly brand of antifreeze
- Supervise pets at all times while outdoors
Watch Out for Winter Weight Gain
It’s only natural to want to hunker down on the couch in your warm house during a cold spell, but pets (and people) need exercise at all times of the year. Excess weight puts pets at risk for many of the same ailments that affect people, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer. So bundle up (both of you) and get outside for some fresh air.
Winter Pet Safety
Winter weather in Florida is startling, but with an eye on winter pet safety we can focus on enjoying this time with our pets, worry-free. If you have any questions regarding our tips and precautions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your Bayshore Animal Hospital team is here for you!