Remember: Keep your animals safe this winter

By Megan Jones, Advertising Manager

The first snowflakes and crisp winds of the winter season bring excitement to those getting in the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, these conditions can also be deadly to an important member of our family: our pets. Protecting our pets from the cold can be easy by simply following a few guidelines. 

The easy fix for this problem is keeping your pet inside during the colder months. Leaving your pet outdoors when the temperature drops leaves them at risk for frostbite or even hypothermia. If your dog or cat’s nose, paws, skin, or ears are exposed for too long they could possibly suffer permanent damage. 

If your pet is one who enjoys spending a lot of time outdoors, make sure to take extra precautions during the winter months. Always provide your pet with shelter to protect them from the harsh elements as well as food and water. 

The weather isn’t the only thing you need to be cautious of with your pets during this time of year. Salt and other chemicals used to reduce ice or snow can irritate your pet’s paw pads as well as their tongue and mouth. Anti-freeze is also a deadly poison when ingested by animals. It has a sweet taste that animals enjoy, so make sure to clean up after using it. 

Stray animals are also known to take shelter in odd places. Therefore, be sure to check your car engines and tires for napping wildlife before starting your car. 

Too often animal abuse is seen but goes unreported. One of the most common cases of animal cruelty is animals being left out in dangerous weather. Views on animal welfare change depending on the region but many states have laws against this abuse. 

If you see an animal that you believe is being neglected or abused, speak up! Take note of the time and location of the incident and as much detail as you can about the situation. Photo evidence from a cellphone will help strengthen the case. After taking note of the scene, contact your local humane society, animal control agency, or sheriff so they can take action.

Remember that the chilly months aren’t just rough on us. Spread the word about what to do when you see an animal in need, as well as take precautions to protect your own furry friends. For more information, visit They provide facts as well as expert counseling about these situations.

Remember to think about your furry pets this season, whether big or small, they’ll need extra looking after. Following these simple steps can lead to a better holiday season for all. 

Photo credit: iStock