Here’s how to keep your pets safe during the winter

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — From frigid temperatures to chemicals on roads, there are many risks for animals that accompany the winter season. With temperatures dipping below 20 degrees this weekend in the Capital Region, the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society encourages pet owners to take proper precautions to keep their furry friends safe.

A vital tip to follow when the cold air arrives is to keep your pets indoors. Despite their fur coats, frigid temperatures pose an increased risk, including frostbite on paws and ears. In the case where you have to bring your pet outdoors, the humane society offers the following tips:

  • Take short bathroom breaks and stay with them. If it’s too cold for you to stand outside, it is too cold for your pets.
  • Always keep dogs on leash.
  • Always have ID tags on your dogs and cats.
  • Have dogs wear coats and even paw covers.

The humane society notes that cats should be kept indoors as they can freeze in cold weather without shelter. To find shelter, cats may hide under the hoods of automobiles. Cats may be injured or killed when the ignition is turned on. Car owners are encouraged to bang loudly on the hood of their cars a few times before starting the engine.

When bringing your pet back indoors, it is recommended to dry them off as soon as they come inside. Salt, de-icers, and chemicals pose many risks to paws and can be lethal if ingested. To protect animals from salt and chemical agents, the humane society suggests massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads.

Additionally, homeowners can use nontoxic antifreeze products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol. When bringing your pet inside, clean their pets, legs, and tummy area to prevent ingestion of toxic substances and their pads from becoming dry and irritated.

While the outdoors poses many risks, MHHS says there are also several things to be mindful of indoors. Since pets burn extra energy to stay warm, owners should provide more food during the winter. Additionally, pets should have plenty of water to drink.

Lastly, keep your pets off the floor and away from all drafts. Providing a warm place to sleep and adding a blanket to their bed can make a huge difference.

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