With the blast of cold weather that is enveloping the south, it's hard to remember all the things we need to do to keep safe and warm. I mean, we're southerners, and we don't experience drastically cold conditions like this very often.

The American Humane Society has some very important tips on how to keep your pets out of harm's way during a winter weather event. They are depending on you to do the right thing, so take care of them like you would family, because they are.

  • When walking your dog during frigid conditions, make sure they are on a leash. More dogs are lost during winter storms than at any other time of year. Verify that they have their tags on in case they make a run for it. And if you're anywhere near frozen bayous, lakes, or rivers, definitely keep them on a leash.
  • When bathing your dog during cold temps, make sure they are completely dry before taking them outside
  • When taking pets outside for a bathroom break, stay with them. If it's too cold for you to be outside, it's too cold for them to be outside.
  • Puppies are much more susceptible to cold than older dogs, so if you are potty training them, use newspapers inside for training just until it's warm enough to go outside.
  • Keep your cats inside during cold weather. They can freeze easily, and sometimes seek shelter under automobile hoods, which can lead to a disaster later on. Thump loudly on the hood of your car before you start the car, just to be sure.
  • Pets need more calories in the cold weather to stay warm.
  • Check the water bowl for outdoor pets, if it's frozen over they can't access it.
  • Salt, de-icers, and chemicals used on the streets can get on your pet's paws, so make sure you wipe off the bottom of their paws after being outside.
  • If you are putting anti-freeze in your car, make sure you wipe up any spills. Pets love the taste of anti-freeze, so use the non-toxic variety whenever possible.


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