Here in Chicago, winter is a season of bitter cold and numbing wetness. Extra precautions during winter months will make sure your family pets stay safe and warm.

Help your pets remain happy and healthy during the colder months by following these simple guidelines:

  • Don't Leave Dogs and Cats Outside During Freezing Temperatures

    Dog and Cat in WinterDon't leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Dogs and cats are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater.

  • Pets Can Suffer from Frostbite and Hypothermia

    No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they are outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

  • Beware of Salt and Chemicals on Pets' Paw Pads

    Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates its mouth.

  • Keep Your Pet Inside (as much as possible)

    Probably the best prescription for winter's woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those that are taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time.