Keep Pets Safe and Warm this Winter

INDIANAPOLIS —The days are getting shorter and colder weather is upon us. The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) encourages pet owners to take steps to keep pets safe and warm this winter.

Tips to Keep Pets Safe and Warm this Winter:

  • Pet-proof the house. Most pets spend more time indoors during the winter.
  • Secure space heaters and use them with caution around pets. Do not leave pets unattended near heaters.
  • Prepare for winter storms bykeeping enough pet food and water on hand to get through at least 5 days.
  • Identify pets with a microchip or identification tag. Pets may become lost in the winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that would help them find their way home. Be sure your pet’s microchip or identification tag has your current contact information.
  • Never leave pets in an unattended car. In cold weather a car quickly becomes like a refrigerator rapidly chilling pets.
  • Pets are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should not be left outside for long periods of time in below-freezing temperatures. Some cities have ordinances about temperatures.
  • Check paws after walks for cold weather damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding, and an accumulation of snow and ice. 
  • During walks your dog’s paws, legs, and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze and other chemicals. Be sure to wipe down or wash your pet to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk of your pet being poisoned.
  • Avoid ice when walking your dog. Frozen lakes and ponds may not be able to support a dog’s weight.
  • Outdoor and feral cats may seek shelter under a vehicle in cold weather. Check underneath your car and make some noise before starting your vehicle.

Winter can be a beautiful time in Indiana. Preparing for cold weather and winter storms will help pets better handle the change in weather.


CONTACT:  Denise Derrer, BOAH Public Information Director, 317/544-2414

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