Beware of These Wintertime Pet Hazards

Winter is in full swing—as with any season, it brings a few dangers for our animal companions. Take note of these wintertime pet hazards as discussed by your Upper Arlington, OH veterinary professional:

Low Temperatures

Of course, the main hazard of winter is the low temperatures. Just like us, pets can experience dangerous frostbite and deadly hypothermia if they are exposed to the elements for too long. Never leave your pet outdoors for long periods in the winter, even if they don’t seem to mind the cold. Restrict outdoor time to quick play sessions and bathroom breaks, and consider dressing your pet up in a warm sweater or parka if they don’t have thick fur. Your vet can give you a recommendation on proper pet clothing.


Antifreeze is common in the wintertime, as we use it to keep our engines running. Unfortunately, antifreeze is a serious pet toxin. It contains ethylene glycol, a sweet-tasting alcoholic substance that is likely to attract pets. Use antifreeze carefully, and clean up any spills right away. Store the product securely where pets can’t reach it.

Snow and Ice

Deep snowbanks present a hazard in the winter; pets can easily become exhausted trudging through deep snow, even athletic dog breeds. Ice is also dangerous, as pets are just as likely to slip on it as we are, potentially hyperextending a limb or tearing a delicate ligament. Avoid deep snow and ice patches as best as you can when outdoors with your pet.

Road Salt and Ice-Melting Chemicals

Ice is also hazardous because of what may be found on it. Road salt isn’t good for pets, and they may track it on their paws and ingest it later. Chemical de-icers, added to ice to speed the melting process, may also prove harmful. Have your pet steer clear of ice patches whenever you can.

Hood Hazards

Outdoor cats are likely to seek warmth underneath our cars, or in the wheel wells or engine compartments. If the car is started with the cat still there, disaster can result! To prevent this, always give your hood a few sharp raps with your fist before getting into your vehicle. This will startle any stowaways into running off before you start or move your car.

Would you like more wintertime tips to keep your pet safe and sound? Contact your Upper Arlington, OH animal hospital today for further help.