Tips to keep your pets safe in wintry weather

Posted in News

With parts of the Triangle expecting up to 8 inches of snow this weekend, the staff at Animal Protection Society of Durham offers a few cold weather tips to keep your four-legged friends safe and comfortable while braving the wintry weather.


  • Keep a dry towel near the door, and as your pet returns, remove any snow from between their foot pads, and dry them off.  Make sure any salt is washed off of their feet and stomachs. If you do plan on taking your dog for a longer walk, rubbing petroleum jelly on the pads of their feet will not only keep their pads moisturized, but also limit how much salt sticks to their feet.


  • If your pet has short hair, make sure they have some form of protection from the cold, especially in windy conditions. If your dog has longer hair, remove any ice crystals or snow off of their fur before they settle back in inside. Just like humans, they need a warm and dry place to rest after frolicking in the snow.


  • To avoid having to worry about snow clumping on the pads of their feet or in their fur, (or for those very particular pets who refuse to go outside), cover a portion of your yard with a tarp or blanket, and lift it up each time you take your pet outside – they will have a dry, snow- and ice-free space for their breaks. Don’t forget the leash!


  • Antifreeze is lethal to dogs and cats, so please ensure your pets are not exposed to antifreeze around your home, and be aware of it while on walks with them around your neighborhood. Antifreeze is easily recognizable, usually bright blue or green, and will easily stand out in snow, but not where snow has melted.


  • If your pet is used to living outdoors, bring them inside during extreme weather conditions. Remember – if it’s too cold outside for you, it’s too cold for your pet.


Some animals thrive in snowy conditions, while others do not. Be aware of the limits for your pets, and do not expose them to cold temperatures for too long.