Operation Kindness Blog

Keeping your pets safe in the winter weather

pet winter safety

How to keep your pet safe during winter weather

While the first day of winter doesn’t officially take place until December 21 this year, chilly temperatures, ice, sleet and snow may be making an earlier appearance this year. While most of our furry families are equipped with a nice built-in fur coat, dangerous temperatures and inclement winter weather can make this time of the year difficult to keep our pets safe and healthy!

Here are a few of our top winter safety tips.

  • Be prepared for routine-altering weather. Have a kit ready with food, water and medicine to last your pet at least five days. Make sure you are supplied and ready to take care of yourself and your pet if you were without power and water for several days.
  • Keep pets indoors. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. Dogs and cats live healthier, longer lives as indoor pets. Supervise your pets when they are out of doors, especially during inclement weather.
  • Provide a cozy bed. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. Place their bed and blanket away from doors or windows to avoid drafts.
  • Bundle your pets up. A doggie coat or sweater can help keep your pet warm outdoors. But remove clothing if it becomes wet from rain or snow because it will make them colder.
  • Avoid haircuts. Don’t shave down their fur. Instead, keep your pet’s coat longer during the winter for extra warmth. Certain breeds, like doodle mixes and bichons, for instance, need regular maintenance to keep them from developing painful matting. Keeping up with solid brushing routines will allow for lighter trims to keep their coats as full and healthy as possible.
  • Provide shelter. You can help community cat colonies who live outside in winter. Consider building a warm, dry shelter or search for pre-built options online, like this heated option from Chewy.com.
  • Honk your horn. Community cats and strays may seek shelter under the hoods of cars to be near the warm engine. Honk your horn or tap on the hood before starting your car to give animals time to get out.

Stay up to date

Follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter for the latest news.