Cold Weather Pet Safety | AHC

Cold Weather Pet Safety




Extremely cold temperatures can cause serious problems for animals who are outside for even short periods of time. Most pets are not able to withstand temperatures below freezing (32°F).


Hypothermia occurs when an animal’s internal body temperature becomes too low for the body to function normally. It can affect all animals but those who are wet, small, elderly, young, or outside with no shelter are most affected. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and you should contact your veterinarian or a 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital immediately if you find an animal with these symptoms.

Symptoms of hypothermia:


Keep in mind that injuries can also occur when indoor pets go outside to play or use the bathroom. Injuries that can occur are:


Antifreeze is an extremely dangerous winter toxin. Pets are attracted to the odor and taste of it. Ingestion of antifreeze can cause acute, fatal kidney failure. Be sure to clean up any antifreeze spills that may result when adding or changing the antifreeze in your car and make sure antifreeze is in sealed containers that are out of reach of children and pets. If your pet does ingest antifreeze, seek immediate veterinary attention.

Ice Melt

While ice melt is not toxic, these salt-based products can cause irritation to your pet’s mouth and skin. They can also cause GI signs if large volumes are ingested. If possible, purchase pet-friendly ice melt to use at home. If your pet is exposed to ice melt during walks on streets and sidewalks, wipe off your pet’s paws to prevent licking and ingestion.


For After-Hours Emergencies, or when our office is closed, please visit:

Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls
197 Hance Avenue
Tinton Falls, NJ 07724
(732) 747–3636

click here to access our printable cold weather pet safety guide