You wouldn’t leave your child outside in the cold, so remember not to leave your pet outside, either! Your pet can get frostbite if they spend too much time outside on a harsh winter’s day, and their fur coat affords little protection when the snow is falling and the wind is blowing. Investing in a jacket and boots for your pet may seem a bit ridiculous, but these items will go a long way towards keeping your pet warm and protected from the chill, and from toxic sidewalk salt that can burn the pads of their feet. We promise they’ll appreciate it!
Sidewalk salt can also be dangerous if it seeps into cracks around junction boxes in the street. Junction boxes contain wires that can conduct electricity if they become exposed and come into contact with the metal around them. If slush mixed with salt gets into these boxes, the salt can corrode the protective coating around the wires, resulting in “stray” voltage. Pets and people that walk across these boxes can be electrocuted. Make sure to watch where you’re walking, as there are thousands of these junction boxes around the city, and, for added safety, have rubber boots for yourself and your pet to wear on winter walks.
If the weather is particularly frigid, limit your pet’s time outdoors to going to the bathroom, and keep them indoors for the remainder of the day. Let them snuggle up next to you, or nestle into a pile of blankets in front of the fireplace.
Antifreeze is a common concern for pet owners due to its high level of toxicity. Antifreeze not only smells sweet; it tastes sweet, too, and attracts all kinds of animals. If you or a neighbor uses antifreeze, check for spills and puddles near and around your home. Keep containers sealed and shut away where your pet can’t reach them. Ingesting antifreeze can prove fatal for your pet, so take every precaution to make their environment as safe as possible.
Overall, you should care for your pet the way you would yourself or a child—don’t leave them out in the cold, make sure they’re bundled up and warm if they go outside, and keep harmful substances at bay. A warm, cozy pet is a happy pet!