Animal Safety in Cold Winters

Winter Safety Suggested by the Windsor Essex County Humane Society

Winter weather can be dangerous for pets.  That’s why the Windsor Essex County Humane Society wants to remind pet owners that they are responsible for ensuring the protection and care of their animals.

Winter Animal CareThe following are a few suggestions highly recommended by the Humane Society.

  • When the temperature drops below freezing pets should not be left outside for extended periods of time. Cats, or short-coated dogs and puppies are particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures.
  • Keep pet cats indoors and protect your dogs from frostbite or hypothermia by taking them outside for short periods during cold weather. Consider a comfortable dog sweater or coat as an extra layer of warmth for a short-coated dog or puppy.
  • Never leave your cat or dog alone in a car during cold weather.  Cars hold in the cold, acting like refrigerators, which could cause your pet to freeze to death.
  • Outdoor dogs must be provided with adequate shelter and a constant supply of fresh water.  While the Humane Society strongly recommends bringing your dog indoors, dogs that live outside require as a minimum a dry, draft-free doghouse soundly built of weatherproof materials with the door facing away from prevailing winds.
  • Place your pet’s feet in warm (not hot) water before drying them off with a towel.  Consider using “booties” to protect your pet’s paws.
  • Don’t let your dog off leash on ice or snow, especially during a snowstorm, as dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.
  • Ensure your pet always has a warm place to sleep away from drafts and off the floor.  A thick cozy dog or cat bed with a blanket or pillow is great.

When you accept responsibility for a pet, they rely on you to keep them safe.  This is not only a moral obligation, but a legal one.  If your pet suffers distress in the cold or heat because of your neglect, you can be charged.  Click here for information on how to report an animal you believe is being neglected or abused.

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