Dangerous Cold: APA of Missouri Urges Residents to Keep Pets Indoors

The National Weather Service has issued a high wind warning, with the potential for wind gusts up to 45 mph on Friday night and single-digit temperatures into Wednesday, January 17. Just like humans, pets can develop hypothermia.

Take a look at these handy tips from the American Veterinary Medical Foundation experts to help protect your pets this week.

  1. Know Your Pet’s Limits: Like you, your pet’s tolerance to the cold can vary based on factors such as coat, body fat, activity level, and health. Be mindful of their ability to tolerate temperatures and adjust accordingly.
  2. Check the Paws: Check paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paws or bleeding. After walks, wipe paws to remove chemicals or irritants, such as ice melt and other deicers.
  3. Bring Your Pets Inside: The best thing you can do for your cat or dog during the cold weather is to keep them indoors. Cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, just like humans.
  4. Play Dress-Up: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or a dog coat. Be sure to use a dry sweater or coat each time you go outside. Wet sweaters or coats can make your dog even colder.
  5. Provide Appropriate Shelter: If your pet cannot be brought inside during cold weather, provide them with a warm, dry, solid shelter against the wind. The floor of the shelter should be off the ground, and bedding should be thick, dry, and changed regularly.
  6. Make Some Noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing heat source for outdoor and feral cats, but it can be deadly. Check under your car, bang on your hood, or honk your horn before starting the engine to encourage cats (or critters) to abandon their roost under the hood.

Remember to stay informed about the weather conditions and take necessary precautions to ensure the well-being of your furry friends.