Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips

The cold weather is starting now  ….. which means that these are difficult days for the Community Cats, who are the abandoned stray cats and their offspring, the feral cats.  They are found in every nook and cranny of Nova Scotia. All around the province, hard working little volunteer TNR groups are working to create healthier communities by humanely managing feral cat populations.  

Stray or Feral, all animals have basic survival needs:

  • Food … it takes more energy to stay warm in the cold, so outdoor cats of all stripes will need extra food
  • Water … freezes at 32 degrees F or 0 degrees C.  Snow is no substitute for water and cats will NOT survive in the cold without a source of drinking water.  Water dishes freeze quickly outside and so need to be changed frequently.
  • Shelter from the elements is critical for survival in the cold. Providing Shelter saves lives.

STAY WARM AND STAY SAFE!  PROTECT YOUR PETS FROM WARM WEATHER HAZARDS:

PETS CAN’T READ THE WEATHER FORECAST!

THEY ARE DEPENDING ON US TO KEEP THEM SAFE!

Frostbite:

  • Bundle up! If you find its cold out … so will your pets! Good warm winter coats and boots for your pet will allow you both to have fun …. safely … when playing and hiking in the snow
  • You wouldn’t put your pet in the fridge … don’t leave them waiting for you in your car.
  • Like us, pets burn more energy outside in the cold. If you and your pet spend time out in the cold, you may need to increase the amount of food for them. ( the reverse is also true … if you and your pets would rather hang by the fire, you may need to watch their diet on the cold winter days )
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Paws are susceptible to frostbite, but most symptoms don’t surface for a couple of days. If paws are swollen or your pet is fussing over the area, wrap your pet in warm blankets, apply a warm…not hot … water bottle to the affected area and go to the vet immediately

Special heatlh advisory Note:   Pets with heart or respiratory problems are at greater risk when exposed to cold weather

Dog Walking

  • Dog walking: the salt that is spread on the streets and roads contains chemicals. If your dog will not wear winter boots, train him or her to sit while you wipe paws with a damp cloth.
  • Remove all bits of ice from between pads too
  • HELPFUL HINT – if your dog will not wear boots, put petroleum jelly on his or her paws to protect them and help keep paws from drying out and cracking
    when its snowing, drivers visibility is reduced.
  • Carry a flashlight even during the daytime and sew reflective strips on your dog coats
  • Helpful hint … most of the hunting season vests can do double duty on a stormy day by making you and your dog more visible.
  • On country roads its not always safe to walk facing traffic because drivers cresting hills behind you cannot see you in time. Use common sense.
  • see note below on Antifreeze 

Antifreeze is toxic to any pet and is a year round hazard, but in the summer cars can be more likely to overheat and leak antifreeze.  Exercise caution and common sense when leash walking … either use the sidewalk or stay on the shoulder of country roads to minimize the hazard.

Bundle Up:

  • Bundle up! If you find its cold out … so will your pets! Good warm winter coats and boots for your pet will allow you both to have fun …. safely … when playing and hiking in the snow
  • You wouldn’t put your pet in the fridge … don’t leave them waiting for you in your car.
  • Like us, pets burn more energy outside in the cold. If you and your pet spend time out in the cold, you may need to increase the amount of food for them. ( the reverse is also true … if you and your pets would rather hang by the fire, you may need to watch their diet on the cold winter days )
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Paws are susceptible to frostbite, but most symptoms don’t surface for a couple of days. If paws are swollen or your pet is fussing over the area, wrap your pet in warm blankets, apply a warm…not hot … water bottle to the affected area and go to the vet immediately. 
  • Fireworks –  Many pets are terrified of fireworks and every year on every holiday beloved family pets are lost when they panic at the noise.  Protect your pets by keeping them on a leash, even in fenced yards, when there are fireworks planned