6 helpful tips for winter-proofing your pets

Border Collie

Winter-proofing your house can be easy—a little spray insulation here, some caulk there, and an extra sweater will all help you survive winter’s chill without undue hardship.

Just like your house, your pets need a little extra help getting through the winter, too. And while we definitely wouldn’t recommend following your cat around with a roll of cling film and a hairdryer, here are some pet-friendly tips to keep your four-legged family members safe and warm this season.

Keep antifreeze out of reach

Antifreeze is sweet and tasty—and deadly to cats and dogs. Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy, followed by acting drunk or disoriented. Make sure you clean up any spills right away, watch for leaks from your car, and call your vet right away if you suspect your furry friend may have gotten into something.

Use animal-safe de-icer

Salt is nasty on tender paws, so use a de-icer that’s marked “animal safe.” You should be able to find some in your local pet store. After they’ve been outside, wash your pet’s feet with warm water to get rid of any salt residue. And, if your dog will tolerate them, booties will help protect furry feet as well.

Trim nails and foot fur

Short nails will ensure that your pet will have more secure footing on ice, and trimming any excess foot fur will help avoid ice and snow build-up during walks.

Don’t go overboard with sweaters

Most dog—especially double-coated breeds like German shepherds and huskies—don’t need a sweater to go outdoors. Short-haired, juvenile or geriatric dogs, though, can be at risk for hypothermia if they’re left outside too long, so a sweater might be a good choice for longer walks.

Keep kitties indoors

Cats like to find warm places to sleep, and outside in the winter, that can mean a car’s engine. Keep your cats inside if you can, and remember to bang loudly on your car’s hood before starting it up to scare away any sleeping neighbourhood felines.

Stay active with your pets—even inside

Even when the weather’s bad, dogs and cats need regular activity. Make sure to play with your pets inside to avoid weight gain, lethargy or hyperactivity.


Do you have any tips for keeping your pet happy during the winter? Share them in the comments.