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Tips for Keeping Pets Safe and Healthy During Upcoming Winter Weather

Dr. Robin Ganzert: “Just because pets have fur, doesn’t mean they can withstand cold temperatures.”

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, January 12, 2024 — This week, yet another winter storm is impacting larger swaths of the U.S.—a weather system that is expected to bring heavy snow, frigid air, ice, and other severe weather. American Humane, the country’s first national humane organization, is sharing tips to help pet owners keep their four-legged family members safe.

“Winter weather can be just as dangerous for cats and dogs as it is for humans,” said Dr. Robin Ganzert, president and CEO of American Humane. “Just because pets have fur, doesn’t mean they can withstand cold temperatures. If it’s too cold for you to stand outside, it’s probably too cold for your pet.”

To help keep pets safe, American Humane offers the following veterinarian-approved tips:

  • Limit time outdoors when possible.
  • Use nontoxic antifreeze. Antifreeze is great-tasting for pets, but ingesting even a small amount can be fatal.
  • Dry and wipe down pets after spending time outdoors. Sidewalk salt is toxic and can lead to dry and irritated paws. Lingering ice can also cause frostbite.
  • Keep your pet leashed during walks. It’s easier for a dog to become lost in winter storm conditions. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season.
  • Provide extra food and water. Staying warm requires extra calories.
  • Protect your puppy. Puppies are more susceptible to cold than adult dogs, so limit time outdoors.
  • Plan ahead. Watch for cold weather warnings and keep a pet-preparedness kit well-stocked in case you can’t leave your home for several days.

For more information on keeping your pets safe, visit



American Humane is the United States’ first national humane organization and the world’s largest certifier of animal welfare, helping to ensure the humane treatment of more than one billion animals across the globe each year. Founded in 1877, American Humane has been First to Serve™ the cause of animals and for 145 years has been at the forefront of virtually every major advance in the humane movement. For more information or to support our lifesaving work, please visit, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram, and subscribe to our channel on YouTube for the latest breaking news and features about the animals with whom we share our Earth.

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