Winter Pet Hazards

Winter is upon us—is your pet prepared to face the coldest months of the year? Keep your animal friend safe, happy, and warm this winter by avoiding dangerous cold-weather hazards! Learn more here from your South London area veterinarian.

Hypothermia and Frostbite

The freezing temperatures and biting wind make hypothermia and frostbite serious threats if a pet stays outdoors for too long. The easiest way to avoid the danger, of course, is to keep your pet indoors for most of the winter! Keep outdoor time very short; just a few minutes for a bathroom break or a quick walk will do the trick without putting your pet at risk.

Road Salt and Ice Melt

Another outdoor hazard during the wintertime is salt-based products, like ice melt or road salt. Sodium chloride—salt—is toxic to pets! Small amounts can cause increased thirst and mouth irritation, while larger amounts can result in serious poisoning. When your pet does venture outdoors, keep them away from ice patches and other areas where ice-melting products may have been applied. To be safe, wipe down your pet’s paws and limbs with a soft towel when you get back indoors.


Antifreeze is often used to keep our cars’ engines running smoothly when the temperatures are very low. Unfortunately, it’s a dangerous toxin for our four-legged friends. Antifreeze is often made with ethylene glycol, an alcoholic substance that can poison pets even in very small amounts. To make matters worse, it can attract pets with its sweet smell and taste! Make sure antifreeze doesn’t leak out of your vehicle’s radiator, and clean up spills in your driveway or garage right away. Store antifreeze carefully where pets won’t be able to get their paws on it.

Pesticide Products

Another wintertime danger resides indoors: pesticide and rodenticide products. When insects and small rodents seek warmth inside our homes during the coldest months of the year, we might fight off the invasion with pesticide products. Of course, these products are poisonous, and can harm animal companions just as easily as the pests they’re made to kill! Place pesticides very carefully in areas that pets don’t have access to, and consider non-toxic options like traps to really play it safe.

These aren’t the only cold-weather pet dangers out there. To learn more about keeping your animal companion safe and sound this winter, contact your South London area veterinary clinic.

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