Science and TechAnimals and Insects


How to protect your pets during extreme cold

Here are some tips to keep pets and other animals safe amid record-breaking cold temperatures.
Woman walks her golden retriever through snowfall.
Posted at 2:04 PM, Dec 22, 2022

As the country deals with a major winter storm, many pet owners are trying to keep their animals safe and warm. The Humane Society says, first and foremost, pets need to have shelter.

"Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons," the organization says.

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If you plan on taking your dog out for short walks, you may want to consider putting booties on their feet as their paw pads are at risk for hypothermia.

The Human Society advises pet owners to be wary of rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow ad they can irritate your animal's feet. It can also irritate their mouth if they lick their paws before they are wiped down.

Experts also remind people to be cautious before starting their vehicles. Small animals may seek refuge near warm engines. People are urged to bang on the hood or honk their horns before starting their car.

Livestock is also at risk during extremely cold temperatures. In addition to providing shelter, the American Veterinary Medical Foundation says it's important that livestock have enough food because they keep warm by expending energy. The organization also advises making sure water is at an appropriate temperature. It notes that livestock will not consume water when it's near freezing.