Cold Weather Hints for Pet Owners

As the weather turns cold, it is important to consider how seasonal changes affect your pets. Outdoor animals can become the victims of improper shelter, lack of fresh water, antifreeze poisoning, frostbite, and even hypothermia. Here are few tips to warm the hearts of your animal friends.


Winterize your pet

  • Provide extra food, as some pets have increased appetites during cold-weather months.
  • Use sweater, raincoats, hats or paw protection such as shoes or booties.
  • Buy heated water bowls for outdoor pets.
  • Consider using heated beds for extreme cold weather.
  • Keep nails trimmed regularly. It is difficult to maintain solid footing with long nails in icy conditions.


  • Frostbite most frequently affects ears, toes, tails, scrotum and areas least covered by fur.
  • Signs of frostbite include red or swollen areas or skin that in very pale and white.
  • To treat frostbite, immerse the area in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Never use hot water! Check with your veterinarian.

Winterize Pet Shelters

  • Add straw as insulation to doghouses. For outdoor cats, provide a snug, warm bed that does not sit directly on the cold ground or concrete.
  • Watch for antifreeze leaks – they can be deadly to pets!
  • For indoor animals, use protective screens around fireplace and maintain supervision in the area.
  • Install carbon monoxide detectors for the safety of your family and your pets.
  • keep the temperature level. Animals are more sensitive to temperature changes then we are.


  • Hypothermia occurs when a pet has been exposed to very cold temperature and/or winds for an extended period of time.
  • Symptoms of hypothermia include shivering, low body temperature, stumbling, drowsiness and exhaustion.
  • To treat hypothermia, the pet’s body temperature must be raised. Surrounded the pet with warn water bottles and blankets. Try to get the animal to drink warm liquids. Call your veterinarian.