Advice from Our Sitters

10 Tips to Help Winterize Your Pets © PAWS

As the weather turns cold, it is important to consider how seasonal changes affect your pets. The following tips will keep your pets safe when the temperature dips.
  • Keep pets inside as much as possible. Young pets, old pets and short-haired pets are more vulnerable to cold weather and should not be left outside unsupervised.
  • If your pet has to be kept outside, provide shelter for it. Add straw for additional insulation from the cold and provide a snug, warm bed that does not sit directly on the ground.
  • Provide your pet with extra food and water, in plastic bowls, when outside for extended periods of time.
  • Ice-melting chemicals and salt can irritate and burn the pads of your pet’s paws. Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s paws once it has returned inside.
  • Clip the long hair on the bottom of your dog’s feet to prevent build up of ice balls that can be painful and difficult to remove.
  • Trim nails regularly. It is difficult to maintain solid footing with long nails in icy conditions.
  • Antifreeze is poisonous. Thoroughly clean up any spills and store household chemicals out of your pet’s reach. Consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
  • Bang on the hood of your car before starting the engine. Cats and wildlife may seek warmth and climb into the engine.
  • Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. All pets, including small caged pets need to be kept warm and away from drafts.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite or hypothermia. Following these winter-proofing tips will help keep your pets healthy, happy and safe during the cold winter months.

Common Foods to Avoid

  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Avocado
  • Chocolate (all forms)
  • Coffee (all forms)
  • Fatty foods
  • Macadamia nuts
  • Moldy or spoiled foods
  • Onions, onion powder
  • Raisins and grapes
  • Salt
  • Yeast dough
  • Garlic
  • Products sweetened with Xylitol

Dangerous Medications

  • Pain killers
  • Cold medicines
  • Anti-cancer drugs
  • Antidepressants
  • Vitamins
  • Diet pills
  • Tylenol
  • Advil
Note: Please check with your veterinarian before feeding any table foods or giving human medications.