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5 Blizzard Tips from the ASPCA to Save Your Pets Life!

by | Jan 10, 2024 | Cat Behavior & Care, Dog Training & Care | 32 comments

In the past I’ve blogged about cold weather dangers for pets and this past week North Texas has enjoyed some sunny, warm days. But in other parts of the country–yet another blizzard threatens.

Bizzard tips for pets help you prepare and keep cats and dogs safe during the worst weather. Thank you to the ASPCA for sending this important and insightful infographic designed to keep your dogs and cats safe!

DogSnowTied_39630455_original For the love of doG, bring your outdoor pets INSIDE!

COLD WEATHER ISSUES FOR PETS

When cold weather descends, it impacts more than the shiver reflex. Last week the blog covered what constitutes old age in cats, and in fact our senior citizen dogs are most susceptible to cold temps.

Old dogs get less cold tolerant as they age, because they lose muscle and fat mass that insulates, increases their metabolism, and keeps them warm. Aging skin and fur also tends to get thinner. Little dogs have less body mass to generate natural heat, too, and often benefit from a doggy sweater especially when they must do outdoor bathroom duty.

Dog dressed with hat, scarf and sweater Warm sweaters help keep lightly-furred dogs warm. You can find an assortment of sweaters at pet products stores (I wouldn’t recommend hats!). This Frisco cable knit sweater (for dogs OR for cats) comes in multiple sizes.

Pets stay warm by burning fuel—the food they eat. They need more calories to generate increased body warmth, too, especially if they’re outside pets and can’t rely on your warm lap. You can feed adult dogs a puppy food which increases the calories—or feed a “performance” diet. Just remember to switch back to a maintenance diet in the spring or you risk adding pounds and can end up with a fat Fido. When the temperature drops overnight, people pull on sweaters. Dogs don’t have the benefit of pulling something out of the closet to wear.

blizzard tips for pets

Shadow’s ready for cold weather! The Ruffwear Quinzee Jacket comes in four colors. Easy on with click-release side buckles, an elastic gusset for better sizing, and leash/harness opening in the back.

5 Blizzard Tips from the ASPCA to Save Your Pets Life!

You’ll find life saving first aid tips for hypothermia, frostbite, CPR, even cat fan belt injuries and more in The First Aid Companion for Dogs & Cats — including information about carbon monoxide poisoning.

But prevention trumps after the fact every time. This infographic from January 2016 still holds true. So please SHARE this post far and wide, and get our fur-kids the protection they need!

ASPCA_1ASPCA_2ASPCA_3ASPCA_4ASPCA_5

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I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book giveaways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!

32 Comments

    • Amy Shojai

      Aww…poor shivery bunny. Hadn’t occured to me that wildlife also might be at risk, thanks for pointing that out.

      Reply
  1. Patricia

    Great info this week and I love the animation!

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Hi Patricia, yes I thought the animation was great fun, too!

      Reply
  2. Rachel Sheppard

    #5 is so important. I always try to make a lot of noise in the winter on my way to the car.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Exactly Rachel. Bang on the hood of the car for instance, or honk the horn. Better a scared kitty than an injured or dead cat.

      Reply
  3. Robin

    That is a great infographic! It is sad how many people leave their pets outside on cold winter days. We see it all to often here in MI. Checking cars for kitties is really important here too. There are a ton of strays and ferals out there.

    Reply
  4. Susan Bewley

    These awe awesome tips! We live in Northern Kentucky and its very common for us to get snow and horrible weather a few times a year. Nothing annoys me more than seeing people having their dog chained up in a yard freezing. They wouldn’t even CONSIDER doing that themselves, why do it to their fur baby? I am also so very glad you showed the importance of checking your engine. My MIL actually has a cat she rescued who crawled to their doorstep, badly injuries, after getting caught in an engine.

    As silly as it sounds, during ice storms we also put Reya in boots to protect her paws. She’s made fun by everyone else in the neighborhood but her paws are protected!

    Reply
  5. Felissa (Two Little Cavaliers)

    We have not had any snow yet this winter but we have had a lot of barely above freezing rain. We prefer the snow because you can play in it. Rain at these temperatures is just no fun.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Usually we have ice storms. No fun at ALL. Not even a very agile dog can keep his balance in that stuff!

      Reply
  6. MyDogLikes

    These are great reminders. I have been rubbing coconut oil on Harley’s dry paws…even with booties for walks, bathroom visits dry his paws out bad!

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Heck, MY feed get dry and scratchy during winter (TMI I know!) and I don’t go barefoot. Hadn’t thought of coconut oil.

      Reply
  7. Geoff

    Also check for cats under the hood if you are parking your car closer to where the cats live than usual. It was still Septober when I found the kittens under my hood. They left when I opened the hood; there were paw prints on the engine when I traded that car in.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Great point, Geoff. Thanks for the comment and visiting the blog!

      Reply
  8. Carol Bryant

    We have a complete regimen in place for outdoor fun and we know it can turn on a dime around here – the weather, that is. So armed with layers, Pawz boots, Musher’s Secret, and limited exposure, off we go. TY for sharing this, Amy!

    Reply
  9. Jen Gabbard

    I wish Laika was more compliant with boots. She will wear them but she certainly doesn’t like having them put on. I know I just need to keep up with it and continue to desensitize her to them. I didn’t think about petroleum jelly though – that’s brilliant. We’ve been using Musher’s wax and if I run out I can just use some of that in the meantime.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      I like Musher’s Secret and use it for Magic’s nose—in cold weather his nose gets chapped.

      Reply
  10. Dogvills

    Those are awesome tips. I didn’t know about bathing.

    Reply
  11. Emma

    We love to be out in a good snowstorm, but my sisters and I are pretty winterized and Mom is bundled up well. The kitties are house cats, so they don’t go out. Hopefully, people won’t leave their dogs out in the snow. We love to be out in it, but we can come in when we want to.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      That’s really the key, Emma, to have access to shelter when you want it!

      Reply
  12. Cathy Armato

    Great tips, thanks! Regarding bathing, pet wipes are also a great alternative when it’s too cold for a wet doggie! The cat sleeping under the hood of a car near a warm engine brings back a terrible memory from my youth – please don’t think that doesn’t happen, it does.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      There also are the “waterless” shampoos, I’ve used those on my cats. And when I still worked as a vet tech, we had several cases of cats severely injured from resting under the car hood. *shudder*

      Reply
  13. Jessica Shipman | Beagles and Bargains

    These are some great tips. Luna has several coats and we use Pawz for her paw protection. I didn’t think about the baths, but it makes sense with dry skin. We couldn’t go all winter without giving her a bath, but we do use a moisturizing shampoo.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      We’re fortunate that Magic doesn’t need a coat and we don’t have long-term extremes of cold her in Texas. I’ve heard good things about the Pawz, too.

      Reply
  14. Beth | Daily Dog Tag

    Thankfully all the dogs in my neighborhood seem to be allowed inside, but its good to know what details to include if I ever need to report one being left outside!

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Yes, that was good info re: reporting that I wasn’t clear about, so was glad to have that.

      Reply
  15. Kia

    Very great tips! I love the animated infographic 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      I’ve never had animation on the blog before, I thought it was kewl, too!

      Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks for visiting, Jenna!

      Reply
  16. Jana Rade

    Important reminders! Most are common sense. The one with the bathing is probably something not everybody would think of. I know how bad this can be just from how dry Jasmine’s skin got when she was getting her hydrotherapy on cold Winter days.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Magic loves baths during the summer but we avoid ’em during the winter. Yes, can really dry out the skin!

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Feral Cats: Why Neighborhood Cats and Feral Cats Deserve CareAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] A group of feral cats huddled together to keep warm, near the wall of an old abandoned home. Taken…
  2. Cold Weather Pet Protection Tips: Protect Feral Cats & Outside DogsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Cold weather pet protection becomes more important this time of year. Here in North Texas we got just a…

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