Winter Weather Pet Care Tips

For Immediate Release: Monday, December 07, 2009

Sponsored by: Health and Human Services Department, Animal Services Division

Brrr … it's cold outside! You feel it when you walk outdoors and so does your pet. With temperatures dipping into the teens at night and winds blowing, pets are especially vulnerable when it is this cold. Animal lovers from the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter in Hillsboro have the following tips for pet owners on protecting pets during this frigid weather.

  1. Keep cats inside. Cats and kittens can perish in these freezing temperatures.
  2. Bang on the hood of your car. Some outdoor cats sleep under the hoods of cars where it is warm. By banging loudly on the car before you start the engine, the cat has time to escape.
  3. If it snows or becomes icy, wipe off your dog's paws, legs and stomach when he comes inside to reduce chances of frostbite. Also, by licking their paws, dogs can ingest de-icing chemicals, salt or poisonous antifreeze.
  4. Clean up all antifreeze and engine coolant spills; these fluids are lethal to dogs and cats.
  5. Remember to check your pets' outdoor water containers frequently and remove any ice.
  6. Leave your dog's coat longer in winter to provide more warmth.
  7. Never leave your dog or cat in a car during cold weather.
  8. Increase your dog's food supply if your dog spends a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities.
  9. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep that is off the floor and away from drafts. A cozy bed with a warm blanket would be simply purr-fect.

Providing the special care that pets need during winter weather requires a bit more work. However, taking care of their well-being and health is worth the effort so that your dog's unconditional companionship and your cat's comforting purr continue. For more information on pet care, see the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter's comprehensive Web site at To see the adoptable animals or learn more about the Bonnie L. Hays Small Animal Shelter, stop by at 1901 SE 24th Avenue in Hillsboro.

Media Contact:

Deborah Wood, Animal Services Manager