Tips to keep pets safe and warm this winter

Posted at 12:06 PM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 12:08:22-05

INDIANAPOLIS — The cold blast is coming, and snow is projected to start making an appearance throughout much of Central Indiana soon.

The Indiana State Board of Health released tips as reminders for Hoosier pet owners to keep their pets safe and warm this winter.

Tips from the BOAH:

  • Secure space heaters and use them with caution around pets. Do not leave pets unattended near heaters.
  • Prepare for winter storms by keeping enough pet food and water on hand to get through at least five days.
  • Identify pets with a microchip or identification tag. Pets may become lost in the winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that would help them find their way home. Be sure your pet's microchip or identification tag has your current contact information.
  • Never leave pets in an unattended car. In cold weather, a car quickly becomes like a refrigerator rapidly chilling pets.
  • Pets are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should not be left outside for long periods in below-freezing temperatures. Some cities have ordinances about temperatures.
  • Check paws after walks for cold weather damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding, and an accumulation of snow and ice.
  • During walks, your dog's paws, legs, and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, and other chemicals. Be sure to wipe down or wash your pet to remove these chemicals and reduce the risk of your pet being poisoned.
  • Avoid ice when walking your dog. Frozen lakes and ponds may not be able to support a dog's weight.
  • Outdoor and feral cats may seek shelter under a vehicle in cold weather. Check underneath your car and make some noise before starting your vehicle.

It's illegal to leave pets outside when temperatures drop below 20 degrees, or if there is a wind chill warning in effect, in Indianapolis.

Indianapolis Animal Care Services asks that if neighbors see animals being put at risk to call 317-327-1397.