Top tips for keeping your pet safe in the snow.
If you think the weather outside is frightful, imagine how intimidating it is for your dog or cat.
Here are some handy tips for keeping your pet pal safe amid snowdrifts, salty streets, icy roads and chilly apartments from the ASPCA and Dr. Louise Murray, Vice-President of ASCPA Bergh Memorial Hospital in New York City.
Walking the dog: You made it home from what must have been a harrowing dog walk. Before you both collapse, remember to thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice, the ASCPA recommends. If he licks his paws, your pup may ingest salt, street cleaner or other potentially dangerous chemicals that have ended up in the snow or ice.
After a storm this messy, your pup's paws need protection. Get him some real boots or else, invest in some musher's wax to protect his pads against salty streets, which can cause your dog burns and discomfort.
Make sure to watch where he licks: anifreeze is a major hazard to dogs: As little as 1/2 teaspoon can be toxic to a cat and just 1/4 cup can kill a medium-size dog, according to the Oregon Veterinary Medical Association. So keep him away from puddles.
Watch out for cars. Roads are especially dangerous after a storm. Cars can skid or spin out of control.
Also, make sure your dog has proper tags and ID since they are much more prone to get lost in the snow. Keep him on his leash during rough weather.
Keep it quick: Once your dog is done relieving himself and he seems like he's ready to come in, get him inside. Shorthaired, very young, or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision, the Humane Society of the United States advises.
If you've got a very young dog or a dog with a thin coat consider getting him a good winter coat -- and not just a sweater or t-shirt. "A black Labrador doesn't need a warm coat, he already has one," said Murray. "But a chihuahua, a breed acustomed to warmer climates, will defintely shiver in the cold."
Car trip: You may think you're doing your dog a favor by leaving him in the car while you run errands but really, you're just keeping him in an icebox. Leave him home, in your warm apartment or house today.
Snow day! Does your Akita, Labrador or Newfie love the snow? If frolicking in the snow if your dog's favorite thing, give him some extra food and plenty of water. The extra protein will give him energy to make the most of the glorious winter weather. Extra water will keep him from getting dehydrated.
Make him an indoor cat: Your feline friend can get frostbite or seek shelter under a car. This can be deadly, if the unsuspecting motorist starts up his car. If you normally let your cat go in and out of the house, keep him inside.
"The snow can be quite disorienting for a cat," said Dr. Murry.
Watch out for space heaters: Make sure your cat or dog doesn't accidentally jump on the heater or even brush up against it. Coming into contact with the heater could cause serious burns, Dr. Jacob Cohen of Chicago's Animal Ark Veterinary Clinic told AOL news.
Read more: nydailynews.com