Winter Pet Safety Tips

February 16, 2018

Your pet is family and, we’re betting, treated more like a human than an animal. We hear you! Many of the winter rules that apply to humans also apply to your furry companion but are easy to take for granted. So, in honor of National Love Your Pet Day (February 20), we’ve got a few winter safety tips for your dogs, cats, and other four-legged friends.

Alert the Authorities That Pets Live Here

Should a life-threatening emergency happen while you are away, you want the fire department or other authorities to have a headcount of all family members, including your pets. We have created new pet stickers that you can put in your home (typically in a window near the main entrance), free for Per Mar customers. Grab yours by filling out the pet sticker form or by contacting your local rep.


Their Skin Gets Dry

The cold air outside and dry, heated air inside take its toll on animal skin just as it does on ours. If you aren’t already using a humidifier, you might consider one to help avoid dry, itchy, flaking skin for your pup. As a bonus, it’ll be great for your skin too!

Like us, animals have essential oils that harsh water and soaps can strip away, which leads to more dry, flaky skin. Talk to your vet about moisturizing options for bath time and try to avoid overbathing.


They Get Cold

Keep pets that spend time outdoors towel dried in the winter. It’s important to be thorough around the stomach, paws, and toes. Remove as much moisture, salt, and ice as possible!

Keep it trimmed but never shave Fido’s hair down in the cold months. If he’s naturally short-haired, then consider regulation winter wear.

To find out how cold is too cold, use this handy pet size and temperature guide from Dr. Kim Smyth, veterinarian and pet health writer. If you’re on Pinterest, you’ll enjoy the fact that it’s “pin-able!”

Lastly, don’t leave your pets alone in the car. This is regularly emphasized in summer months but your vehicle can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold air.


Avoid a Freezing Cold House

With today’s smart technology, you don’t have to wonder if you closed the garage door or shut the lights off. The same goes for whether you remembered to set the thermostat at the right comfort level for your animals. You also don’t have to worry about your pet freezing (or overheating during the summer months) due to an unknown power outage. Monitor environmental changes, such as carbon monoxide leaks and extreme temperature fluctuations, and get alerts directly to your smartphone or tablet via Per Mar’s smart home app when things go awry while you’re away! And things do have a tendency to go awry, just ask Sarah C., Per Mar Home Security customer.

“With my dogs at home all day while I’m at work, I love that my Smart App notifies me when the power goes out so I can have someone check on them if needed, especially during the winter. Thanks to Per Mar, I never have to worry about their safety!”

Beware of Chemicals. Like babies, everything gets into a pet’s mouth. Immediately clean any leaking or spilled antifreeze as it’s toxic to your dog or cat. Purchase a brand using propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol for a slightly safer alternative.

The same goes for ice melt. Is there a pet-friendly version that will cause less damage? Using booties or other protective barriers will help prevent salt and chemicals from getting lodged in between their toes, too!

For more information on animal poison control, visit the ASPCA’s website.


Put a Freeze on Weight Loss

Adding a few extra calories into your pet’s diet during the winter months will help him or her stay warmer and provide needed energy (check with your vet first). Consider also increasing your pet’s water intake because…hydration, hydration, hydration!

We understand that your pet is not only your companion but a life worth saving. We hope these tips have helped enlighten you to some of the winter dangers that might not have fallen on your radar previously. A good rule of thumb is that if you’re cold, they’re cold. And, we’re betting they are climbing into bed with most of you at night but, if not, pick a spot that isn’t drafty for them to sleep!