With snowstorms covering the ground in powdered white and ice coating the streets, everyone’s top priority for the next month or so turns to safety. Although we might want to keep indoors, turn up the heat and enjoy some hot chocolate, the staples of cold weather, if you have a pet than needs to go outside for exercise and the bathroom, keeping them healthy and happy is of top priority.

While it is easy to simply have your pet inside to keep them safe, when they need to go out, make sure you consider investing in a pet coat or boots for your furry friends if they are smaller or not as equipped for the temperature. When the temperature drops or there are blizzard-like conditions, although you still might need to take your dog for a walk, make the walk shorter or even let them out the backdoor into your yard for a quick bathroom break, if possible.

Reducing the time they are exposed to the elements is the best plan for them. When you come back to your home from the outdoors, make sure you clean and dry their paws for any traces of road salt or bits of ice.

Did you know it is quite common for animals to suffer from hypothermia when they aren’t in proper warm conditions? Make sure when you are with your animal outside, you look for some of these main symptoms of hypothermia including:
• shivering
• difficulty walking and muscle stiffness
• slowed breathing or weakness.

Keep an eye out for these and more symptoms to make sure your pet is safe!

Some dog breeds are perfectly fine in the colder weather and even prefer being outdoors , but here’s a few helpful tips to keep in mind even for these snow-loving pets. A simple tip for outdoor pets is to use plastic food and water bowls instead of metal, so their tongue doesn’t get stuck to it. If your furry friend is shaking, they are most likely cold and should be brought inside. Hydration is key! Lots of water helps regulate their body temperature.

The general rule of thumb is: If it is too cold for humans, it is too cold for pets! Keep your loved ones safe this winter, including the furry family member bundled up by the fireplace.