Winter Pet Safety Tips

Pet Winter Safety Graphic

With winter weather arriving in the Kansas City area over the next week, here are some pet safety tips to keep pets safe:

Provide Shelter for Outdoor Pets:

Ensure that outdoor pets have access to a well-insulated shelter, spacious enough for them to comfortably curl up. This structure should be strategically positioned to block wind, and its floor should be elevated from the ground, layered with warm blankets or dry straw (not hay) to provide insulation. Enhance their comfort by incorporating a heat source such as heat lamps or an outdoor heating pad. Additionally, be vigilant in preventing their water source from freezing to guarantee their well-being in colder temperatures.

Feral and Community Cats:

If you’re concerned about a nearby feral cat, a compassionate option is to place a weather-safe container outdoors. Outfit it with comfortable bedding and incorporate an entrance, creating a secure space for the cat. This website provides helpful tips on how to build a shelter. Feral cats are also good about finding alternative shelter on their own.

Cats and Cars:

Cats are drawn to the warmth of parked cars, making it crucial to take precautionary measures. To prevent potential harm when you start your car, it’s essential to develop a routine of tapping on the hood. This gentle precaution serves as a considerate signal, ensuring that any dozing animals are alerted and can exit before the vehicle is started.

Emergency Situations:

As winter weather can bring about emergency situations such as power outages, it is imperative to establish an emergency plan for your entire family, pets included. 

Walking Your Pet:

Exercise added caution during your pet walks, particularly in snowy or icy conditions. Pay close attention to any signs of injury or discomfort, especially in their paws exposed to extreme cold. Upon returning indoors, wipe their paw pads to eliminate any residue of chemical melting agents, preventing potential harm to their paws or ingestion risks. 

During the winter months, if you are concerned about an animal in distress that is outside in Kansas City, MO, you can report that to 311 or use KC Pet Project’s online portal to submit information, including photos, which are very helpful. Take note of the date, time, exact location, and the type of animal(s) involved and write down as many details as possible about the situation. Video and photographic documentation of the animal, the location, the surrounding area, etc. are very helpful to Animal Services. If KC Pet Project’s Animal Services Division finds animals exposed to the winter conditions, they may be subject to immediate seizure and impoundment of the pet to the shelter and prosecution of animal cruelty. Priority of calls will be assigned for responses to emergency services and for welfare checks for animals in distress.