Winter Safety Tips for Pets

First walk in the snowWeather forecasters predict that Old Man Winter is going to be especially fierce this year in many parts of the world. So it’s important for pet parents to take certain precautions to keep their critters safe. Below are some tips for ensuring that your companion animals remain healthy and happy during the harsh weather months.

Protect Your Pooch’s PawsSafe-Paw-Ice-Melt

Whenever the weather is frightful, many people scatter rock salt products on their walkways to melt the ice and snow. This can be very irritating to a pet’s paws, and harmful to them if they lick their paws after exposure to this.

So be sure to thoroughly wipe a dog’s paws with a warm, damp cloth after walks. The same goes for kitties that are permitted to roam outdoors during snowy and icy weather. For pet parents who use ice melt products, it’s advisable to opt for pet-friendly brands such as Safe Paw. This is a salt-free product that is safe for pets, kids and the environment. You can learn more about this here.

Protect Kitties from Car Enginescat-car-safety

Many times, stray cats and kitties that are allowed outdoors will crawl into a car’s hood and into the engine for warmth and protection from the elements when the weather is especially cold.

So animal welfare advocates strongly encourage people to knock on their vehicle hoods and honk their horns, then wait at least 30 seconds before starting their vehicle, to ensure that kitties who may have snuggled in there can escape. For more details, click on the  image provided by Petfinder.com at the right to enlarge it.

Better, yet I advise people to keep their cats indoors, at all times. If there are ferals and strays in your neighborhood, you might consider providing them with a shelter, which you can learn more about here.

Protect Pet Birds from the Cold

Parrot-Hooide

The vast majority of birds kept as pets hail from tropical climates. Not only is it important to keep them away from drafts; it’s also crucial that you refrain from exposing your feathered friends to unsafe heating sources.

Gas fireplaces, certain types of space heaters such as those that use kerosene and electric heaters with open elements can be deadly to birds, and can be fire hazards. The same goes for heated light bulbs, which can shatter if splashed with water, which can also result in fires and severe injuries or even death to birds.

It’s also very important to maintain the proper level of humidity in a bird’s environment. So taking your bird into the shower and purchasing a humidifier are advisable. For in-depth winter bird safety tips, you may refer to the Bird Channel.

Here’s wishing you and your pets a safe, happy winter.

Photos from Wikimedia Commons, Safe Paw, Petfinder and the Bird Channel

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