Winter weather can be hard on pets. What you need to know to keep them safe

·1 min read
Jeff Siner/

Severe weather isn’t only uncomfortable for humans, it can pose serious safety risks to pets, too. .

Here are some tips from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police’s Animal Care & Control unit to keep them comfortable when severe winter weather hits:

  • Keep pet cats inside, even if they’re an “outdoor cat” most of the year.

  • Bang on the hood of your car before starting to wake up any stray cats that may have crawled into the car’s engine or vents looking for warmth.

  • Wipe down your pet’s paws when they come inside to make sure any ice, snow melt or antifreeze is removed. Those items can contain chemicals that would be harmful to pets if ingested.

  • Check your pet’s paws for ice when they come inside to avoid painful cracking.

  • Consider putting paw-sized booties on your pet’s paw keep them warm and protected when outside.

  • Don’t shave dogs “down to their skin” in the winter, and put a sweater or coat on short-coated breeds when outside.

  • Never leave pets in alone in a car.

  • Avoid leaving puppies outside.

  • If your adult dog typically stays outside, give them extra food, make sure their water doesn’t freeze and make sure they have a warm place to sleep.

  • Do not leave pets outside when temperatures are below freezing.