Winter Safety Tips For Your Pets

From the Office of Neighborhood Coordination’s weekly newsletter, we are reminded to care for our pets as the weather gets colder.  “Cats and dogs can and do feel the cold, just as humans do, and hypothermia is a very real danger to them. To keep your furry friends warm, safe, and healthy this winter, here are some tips:

  • Keep your pets indoors in the winter when you’re not home.
  • If pet water bowls are outdoors, check them frequently to make sure the water has not frozen.
  • Don’t leave animals in closed cars in the winter. A car can become dangerously cold and can be just as deadly to an animal as in the summer.
  • Keep anti-freeze away from children and animals! Anti-freeze has a sweet taste that can attract them, and ethylene glycol is extremely poisonous.
  • If your pet has walked on salted or de-iced surfaces, clean them immediately with warm water and don’t let them lick their paws. These substances are toxic to animals.
  • Check your pet’s paws frequently for balls of ice or snow that can form there. Rinse with warm water to remove.
  • Pets that are outdoors often seek warmth and protection on or near a car’s engine. Bang on your car hood or honk the horn before starting the engine.
  • If your pet must be outdoors, insulate his or her bed with straw, and switch it out if it becomes damp.

For more winter pet safety suggestions and information, visit:

The November edition of the BernCo at a Glance newsletter gave us these additional tips for outside pets.

“It’s a common misconception that dogs and cats won’t get cold because they have fur. If your pets have to be outside, here are some outside housing tips for your pets:

  • Do not use fabric blankets or bedding. Once wet, they ice over when temperatures drop, and become wet again with your animal’s body heat.
  • Place the shelter’s entrance facing south to southeast to maximize exposure to the sun.
  • If the opening is uncovered, consider attaching a thick piece of rubber, doormat or carpet scrap cut to size to block the wind, rain, and snow.
  • Make sure the shelter is as airtight as possible.
  • Check the water bowl frequently for freezing.”

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