Winter Safety Tips for Pets

How to keep your pet safe and warm during the winter.

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Winter Safety Tips for Pets Brochure

The Department of Health urges residents to consider the safety of pets during cold weather. Pets should not be exposed to cold temperatures for extended periods of time.

If an animal appears to be in distress or is unresponsive, please contact Animal Control immediately at 314-657-1500. If calling after hours or on weekends, please call 314-231-1212.

Safety Tips

  • Do not leave your pets outdoors unattended when the temperature gets below freezing (32° F). Frostbite is a threat to animals exposed to harsh, cold weather.
  • Never leave a pet alone in a car during cold weather. Cars hold in the cold like a refrigerator and your pet can freeze to death.
  • Keep pets away from antifreeze and promptly clean up any spills from your car. Antifreeze is a lethal poison for pets, even in tiny doses. Unfortunately, animals are attracted to its sweet taste.
  • Keep your cat inside. Cats can crawl into a warm car engine for shelter and can be seriously injured or killed when the car is started. Check under the hood before starting your car in the winter to chase away any hidden cats or other wildlife.
  • Wipe off your pet’s paws, legs, and stomach after being out in the snow or ice. Any salt or other de-icing chemicals that are swallowed by licking can make your pet sick.
  • If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness, or breed type (small, or short haired), take him outdoors only long enough to relieve himself. Puppies do not tolerate cold as well as adult dogs.
  • Never let your dog off-leash in snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs often lose their scent in snow and ice and can easily become lost.

See the ASPCA Cold Weather Safety Tips page for more information.

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