1 minute readHealth & Safety
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Puppy Preparedness: 9 Tips to Keep Your Pets Warm and Safe This Winter

A version of this was originally written by Matthew Hurst, the  American Red Cross Greater NY Region blog

Raise your hand if you knew last Friday was Love Your Pet Day. Now, raise your hand if it was so cold out you used your cat as a foot warmer and your dog as an extra blanket to celebrate this amazing day? If you’re anywhere in the eastern half of the country, you’ve weathered a winter filled with frigid temps and snow storms.

You know how to bundle up and keep your home heated safely, but what can you do to protect and prepare your pets during the winter? Here are a few simple tips to keep them safe:

1. Bring your pets inside! It’s cold out there, and what’s bad for us is also bad for man’s best friend.

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2. Be careful around space heaters! Space heaters pose many risks. Not only can they burn your pet, your pet can also knock them over and start a fire.3. Be mindful of the paws! Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate a pet’s paws. Wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.

4. If pets cannot come indoors, keep them warm  in a dry, draft-free space large enough to allow them to sit and lie down, but small enough to keep them warm.
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5. Dress your dog in style for winter weather and make sure they are wearing a collar or ID tag with their name and your cell phone number.
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6. These days, there’s an app for everything, including keeping your dog safe. Download the Red Cross Pet First Aid app for iOS and Android smartphones
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7. Love may be the best medicine, but if your doggy gets meds from the vet, be sure to keep some in supply in case you get snowed in this winter.

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8. Be ready by keeping a preparedness kit for your pets all year long. It should include food,water, and any medications for your pets. A chew toy would also be a nice gesture.
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9. And in case of an emergency evacuation, never leave your pet behind in the cold. Remember, if it’s not safe enough for you, it’s not safe enough for your pet. 
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Want to learn more about how to keep your pets safe and healthy? Sign up for a Pet First Aid courseYou like these photos? Check out the full series here. Thanks to our friends at Good Dog Therapy for sharing!