Tips to keep your pets safe in the frigid winter weather

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – It’s time to make sure your furry friends are safe in the extreme cold. Local experts have tips and accessories to make sure your pets are warm.

Antifreeze may be great for your car, but its sweet taste can be deadly for your pets. Experts say keep it out of your pet’s reach this very chilly winter.

“Usually, he does a little dance when he first puts them on,” said Greta Schylaske, who owns three dogs.

Coats, boots, paw-safe salt, ointment, and beds can keep your pets safe this winter.

Schylaske’s pitbull-mix, Face, gets bundled up for his playtime at Abrams and Weakley’s dog park.

“We usually keep a sweater or a coat on them, along with booties, sometimes even a scarf,” Schylaske said with a laugh.

“She has the booties on because they protect her feet from ice balls collected underneath. With long-coated dogs, often ice and snow collect underneath, and it becomes very hard. It is very painful for them to walk on,” said Kristen Zellner, owner of Abrams and Weakley, as she held her Cavalier King Charles spaniel, Darcy.

Zellner says you should clean your pet’s paws, stomach, and fur when it comes inside.

“Wipe the paws off. Inspect the bottom of the paws to make sure there’s no debris under there stuck in their fur,” Zellner said. “You can rub a little vitamin E oil into their paw pads. There are other products you can buy as well.”

Some other tips include using paw-safe salt, putting a humidifier in your home to avoid paw cracking and dryness, and keeping pets indoors except for potty breaks. Zellner says if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them.

“Many dogs who are made for colder temperatures enjoy it, but I don’t think they need to do it all night long, all day every day,” Zellner said.

“Keep the dogs inside as long as you can,” Schylaske said. “If you can just let them out for five minutes to pee, I really don’t recommend that you leave them out any longer than that. It’s way too cold outside.”

It’s illegal in Pennsylvania to leave a dog outside for more than 30 minutes without adequate shelter to maintain its body heat. The cold-weather portion of Libre’s Law has similar restrictions for tethered dogs.

We have more tips from the ASPCA to keep your fur babies safe here.


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