Keeping your pets safe in winter conditions

Dec 22, 2022, 8:24 AM

a dog plays in the snow with its owner, dogs need extra protection in winter...

Mallory Hiegel plays with her dog Basil during a snowstorm in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — The frigid winds and freezing temperatures that come with winter are in full swing. Best Friends Animal Society is reminding pet owners that these conditions are harmful for your furry friend. 

According to a press release, a “Cyclone Bomb” winter storm is expected to impact most of the lower 48 states. 

Best Friends has some tips on keeping your pet out of harm’s way. 

Bring your pets in at night as temperatures can quickly drop to unsafe levels. Pets with thick coats are still at risk for frostbite paws, ears, and tail are especially sensitive. 

If a pet needs to go outside, make it brief. 

Keep pets off of the ground. Provide a structure that’s raised up off the ground, has a door flap to keep out drafts, and is equipped with dry, comfortable bedding. 

If you use out door food and water containers, use plastic instead of metal. An animals tongue may stick to metal and cause injury. 

Dogs with short coats, may be more comfortable outside if they have a sweater. Keep an eye on your dog’s paws. If they frequently lift paws, it is probably because his or her feet are uncomfortably cold. Boots can protect paws from the cold and irritating salt that may be used on streets.  

Many people use chemicals and salt solutions to melt snow and ice, this can injure or irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. They can also be harmful if ingested. If your pet walks through it, gently wipe their feet with a damp towel before your pet has a chance to lick them.  

If your pert is older, careful when taking older or arthritic animals outside. They will likely become stiff and tender quickly. and may find it difficult to walk on the snow or ice. Keep them close to your side when walking on ice to avoid a slip-and-fall accident. 

It is important to note that animals can easily lose their sense of smell in a storm so keeping them leashed in a storm in recommended.  And always make sure dogs are wearing ID tags and are microchipped.

According to Best Friends, shelters are over capacity and are urging people to consider adopting. 

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Keeping your pets safe in winter conditions