Preparing your Pet for the Cold Weather

While Harmony Animal Hospital encourages pet owners to keep their cats and dogs inside at all times for their safety and health, if you or anyone you know has an outdoor pet, ensure they are brought inside during cold pets-cold-41nights. And since we don’t see many cold nights down here in the Sunshine State, we thought we would go over a few things that we don’t usually have to think of.

  • If you are one of the many in the area who care for feral and/or barn cats, be sure to provide plenty of straw. It traps the heat from the animals’ bodies and keeps them insulated and warm in the cold weather.
  • During unusually cold nights, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, check under and/or bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
  • Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
  • Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Visit the Pet Poison Helpline for more information.
  • Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.