Winter Pet Safety

In regions with any kind of wintery weather, you probably know exactly how to prepare for and navigate the unique risks caused by snow, ice, and low temperatures. And since they can't change the thermostat or put on cold weather booties, your pets count on you to get them ready for the season, and to keep them safe through the cold winter months.

Follow these 5 tips to be sure your dog or cat is protected:

Beware of potential poisons: Chemicals commonly used by humans to ward off winter's symptoms like rock salt, antifreeze, and snowmelt can be deadly to pets, so be sure to keep these things safely stored and purchase pet-safe options if possible. Steer clear of these chemicals while walking or playing outdoors antifreeze has a sweet taste and can easily be ingested by a cat or dog. Finally, be sure to rinse or wipe down your pet's foot pads after being outside, so that they don't ingest any dangerous chemicals just from licking their paws.

Keep them warm: The ASPCA offers a simple way to figure out whether your pets can tolerate chilly weather: "if it's too cold for you, it's probably too cold for your pet." Just like humans, pets can get frostbite, hypothermia, and other cold weather-related ailments. So don't leave them in the car or outside indefinitely if it's too cold for comfort. If your pet spends time outside during the day, be sure they have some type of dry shelter available, as well as access to plenty of food and non-frozen water.

Dress your pet: Believe it or not, pet clothing isn't just a fashion statement, and is sometimes necessary to keep your beloved animal safe from the elements. Bundling up your puppy in booties and a sweater might make you feel silly, but your pet will thank you.

ID your pet: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cold weather can actually mask smells that would normally help your animal to find its way home in warmer weather. Make sure your pet has a secure and accurate ID tag so that if they get lost, they can more easily be found.

Plan ahead: In the winter especially, it's important to stock up on water, medicine and non-perishable food items for your family in case of an extended power outage or other emergency. Remember your pets in this equation: set aside extra pet food, important medicines and other pet necessities along with other emergency supplies.

For any insurance questions, call or contact Mathews Insurance, Inc. today.

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