Keep your pets safe in this cold weather

22News is working for you with winter pet tips

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For those of you who welcomed a new pet into your home over the holidays, this will be your first winter together and we’re expecting bitterly cold temperatures in the next few days. But there are some steps you can take to make sure your animals are safe.

It is important to wipe your dog’s stomach and paws off after a walk, where they may have stepped in salt or antifreeze, which can be dangerous. Be sure to do that, because even if you use pet-safe ice melt, your neighbors may not. You may also want to buy a coat for your pet, especially if they’re smaller with less body fat or hair.

Veterinarian Dr. Amy Alwood of VCA Boston Road Animal Hospital told 22News that you have to think about your pets as you would think about other people in the cold, and it isn’t just the temperatures themselves that are dangerous.

“You want to think about common sense things just as you would for yourself or a small child,” Alwood said. “Ice and slip and falls, we had a pet come in this morning with concern about an injury because of a fall on the ice.”

Keep an eye on your older pets. The change in temperature can be stressful for them, and could bring on signs of another underlying health problem.

One more thing to consider: warm car engines can be appealing to cats, so you might want to bang on the hood before you start your car to shoo them away.

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