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Winter Warmth for Pets

Blog by Sara Kalke | January 10th, 2012

Brr!  The cold is BACK!  It's not just our ears and fingers that get cold in the chilly temperatures, our pets get cold too!  Here are the Edmonton Weather Guidelines from the Edmonton Humane Society:


  • If you have an outdoor dog, provide it with an insulated doghouse with straw bedding, NOT a blanket. Blankets absorb moisture that will cause the blanket to freeze.
  • When your dog comes in from outside, thoroughly wipe off and towel dry its legs and stomach. Check sensitive paw pads, which may bleed from snow or ice encrusted in them. Watch for signs of distress such as shivering, licking feet, and refusing to play.
  • Elderly animals, young puppies, small dog breeds, and dogs with short hair should never be left outside for extended periods of time during cold or wet weather. Regardless of the season, dogs should never be left outside without supervision.
  • Own a short-coat dog? Consider getting him a coat or sweater.
  • Dogs should never be allowed off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and can easily become lost.
  • Outdoor dogs require energy for warmth and should be fed an increased supply of food with plenty of protein. Provide fresh water in a non-metal dish, as a dog’s tongue can easily freeze to the metal. Snow is not a satisfactory substitute for water.



  • Cats’ bodies are not designed for low temperatures - keep your cat inside.
  • Cats left outside in the winter will seek shelter in a warm place, and many choose the engine area of a warm parked vehicle. Before starting your car, check for nearby tracks, bang loudly on the hood, honk the horn, and wait a few seconds before starting the engine to give a cat a chance to escape.



  • Antifreeze, even in very tiny doses, is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Because of its sweet taste, animals are attracted to it but it is highly toxic. Just one tablespoon is enough to kill a cat or small dog.  Thoroughly clean up any vehicle spills and use less dangerous products that contain propylene glycol rather than traditional products that contain ethylene glycol. Keep products out of your pets reach.
  • Make sure animals have a warm place to sleep far away from all drafts and off the floor, such as in a bed or basket with a warm blanket or pillow. Tiles and uncarpeted areas may become extremely cold, so remember to place blankets and pads on floors in these areas.
  • Make sure all fireplaces have screens and keep portable heaters out of your pet’s reach.
  • Never leave pets alone in a vehicle during cold weather (or during hot weather for that matter). A vehicle can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold, and the companion animal can freeze to death. If the car is left running, pets could die from breathing in carbon monoxide. Also, pets are often stolen from unattended vehicles.


The Edmonton Journal posted a fabulous article on how to keep your pet warm this winter - See the full article by clicking HERE.  Below is a brief excerpt with ideas from the article on how to keep your pet toasty even in sub-zero weather!

Keep your pet warm this winter

Here are a few items that will help ensure your pet stays safe and comfortable when the really cold temperatures descend upon us (as you know they will).

Photograph by: Hemera, Thinkstock

It's easy to forget that pets get really cold in our northern climate, just like us. Frostbite, chemical burns from de-icer and hypothermia are real concerns. Here are a few items that will help ensure your pet stays safe and comfortable as the really cold temperatures descend upon us. Prices quoted are from PetSmart.

Dogloo by Petmate, $154.99-$221.99

This shelter is made of insulated plastic and is a good place for dogs to stay warm and dry for short periods of time while getting fresh air in the backyard. Use straw to insulate the plastic floor or buy a matching pad.

Top Paw Reversible Dog Sweater, $29.99

Short haired dogs need extra protection from the elements during our harsh winters. These sweaters are reversible with weather-resistant outers, reflective strips on the outside, and warm fleece on the inside.

Nutri-Vet Pad Guard Wax for Dogs, $9.99

This wax protects pooches' pads from ice, salt, de-icers and rocks while adding a layer of warmth. Great for dogs whose feet are too small for booties.

Muttluks Extreme Weather Booties, $59.99

Suede outers and fleece lining provide great cold-weather protection. Avoid the risk of frostbite, even when your pup just needs to "visit the backyard." Paws freeze fast at -30 C.


... Excerpt from the Edmonton Journal.  See the full article by clicking HERE.