Pet Care

8 Rules for Keeping Pets Safe in the Winter

As Fort Worth woke up to frigid temperatures in the 20s today, folks were chilled to the bone – and so were our pets! Although they come ready-made with fur coats, they still need our protection during the cold days of winter. Below are some cold weather tips to make sure your pets are just as warm, cozy and safe as you are:

  1. Bring them inside. Although some pets are conditioned to cold weather, you should bring outdoor pets indoors if the temperature drops below 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies, kittens and short-haired pets should come inside anytime the temperature goes below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Get proper grooming. For pets with long hair, proper grooming is essential to help them maintain a layer of warming air within their coat. Pets who are heavily matted cannot keep themselves as warm. If your outdoor dog is matted, just give The PARC Grand Resort a call at 817-989-PAWS(7297). The salon staff does a great job getting dogs ready for the long winter season!
  3. Provide shelter. If your pet must stay outdoors, be sure to provide a shelter. A good “house” will have three enclosed sides, will be elevated off the ground and will contain generous amounts of bedding, such as straw or hay, in cold weather. A house just big enough for your pet will warm up faster and retain heat better than something that is too big.
  4. Use heated water bowls. Your pet will need access to fresh water that isn’t frozen. Use heated water bowls and replenish them frequently.
  5. Watch out for antifreeze. Antifreeze is a common and deadly pet poison during colder months. Did you know that antifreeze has a sweet taste, so pets will readily lick up any that has spilled? If you spill antifreeze, dilute the area well with water and sweep the excess water into a rocky or sandy area. Cover the area with soil to keep pets from licking at the rocks. If you suspect your pet has consumed any antifreeze at all, head to The PARC right away.
  6. Check your car hood. Cats love to warm up underneath car hoods. If your car is kept outdoors, or if cats have access to your garage, be sure to pound on the hood of the car prior to starting it. Every winter, we see many cats that are killed or injured grievously by fan belts and moving engine parts.
  7. Don’t leave pets alone in cars. Pets should not be left alone in vehicles, due to the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning or hypothermia.
  8. Use caution with fire and space heaters. Monitor all pets around wood-burning stoves, fireplaces and space heaters. These can cause severe burns!