Winter Pet Safety: Important Tips to Know

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Winter Pet Safety

Did you wake up to a snow-covered everything this morning? I know I did!

While I love the snow (until I have to drive in it), the bitter cold can be hard on our four-legged friends. Midwestern winters are no joke, like yesterday's winter weather advisory can attest. 

For many of us, our dogs are our family--and while they may be able to tolerate the cold, they aren't impervious to it. 

Here are some tips to keep your furry friends safe and warm:

♦ When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s best to keep all animals indoors except when exercising or relieving themselves. “Outdoor” dogs should have a dry, comfortable, draft-free doghouse large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down, but small enough to hold in his body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. Pet stores carry safe heated floor mats and non-electric warm bedding. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

♦ Pets require more calories in lower temperatures because exercise is more strenuous and higher fuel intake helps your pet to maintain body temperature.

♦ Pets must have fresh water at all times. Check the water bowl regularly to ensure it’s full and unfrozen. Use a tip-proof bowl to keep Fido’s paws from freezing. And never use a metal water bowl— the tongue will stick to wet metal, and injury will result.

♦ Use an old towel to wipe off paws when your dog comes inside to prevent frostbite.

♦ If your dog’s paws come in contact with salt and de-icing chemicals during a walk, rinse the feet off and dry thoroughly once you’re back inside.

Find these cold weather tips helpful, but wish you had your own Fido to care for? Maybe the time is now to get some puppy (or kitty) love in your life.

Check out these places to find your perfect match:

Hamilton County Humane Society

Indianapolis Humane Society

Humane Society of Boone County

Hancock County Humane Society


A word of warning:

if you check out these sites, you may find yourself driving there and looking at dogs and petting them and writing a check and putting them into your car and then you end up with this:

  Mia our rescue beagle snoozing on a literal feather pillow

 This is our rescue beagle, Mia, shortly after we brought her home and bathed her.* 

Sweet and subdued--unless you're a squirrel or some sort of delivery package driver--she brings so much joy into our lives.

*That is a legit down feather pillow she's resting her little furry head on, by the way. I said no dogs on the couch and now there is a dog on my couch. And bed. And chair. @#$% 

Our heartfelt thanks to the Hamilton County Humane Society for introducing us to her. ♥


Have you ever rescued a pet?

Share your story!

Miriam Odegard, Real Estate Broker

United Real Estate Indianapolis

1425 East 82nd Street, Suite 200

Indianapolis, IN 46240

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