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  • Writer's pictureRosebud Sioux Tribe


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Winter can be a particularly difficult time for pets. Give your pet a safer, healthier weather season by following these tips:

  • A temperature of 10°F or below is too cold for any pet to tolerate. The physical stress of cold temperatures can make pets more susceptible to illness or infection.

  • Provide outdoor dogs or cats with a dry, insulated pet house or shelter out of the wind. Staying warm demands extra calories, so increase your pet’s food intake, particularly protein.

  • Remove ice, salt, and caked on mud from your pet’s paws and coat right away. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite. Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white, or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.

  • Cats and kittens often nap on car engines. Knock on the hood or honk the horn then wait a few minutes before starting the car.

  • Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a small amount can kill them. Thoroughly clean up spills at once. Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get to them.

  • Never let your dog off its leash in the snow or ice. Dogs can lose their scent in snow and ice and become lost in the harsh weather. Make sure pets, such as dogs, always wear their ID tag.

  • Don’t use metal water dishes outside; your pet’s tongue could stick to the frozen metal.

  • Many plants, including holly, mistletoe, and poinsettia, are toxic to pets. Keep them out of your pet’s reach.

  • Always have fresh, clean water available.

  • Dogs confined to the house because of winter weather may lack proper exercise and suffer depression. Help by giving more attention and encouraging them to be active.

Winter Weather Preparedness Guide

SD Department of

Public Safety

Phone: 605.773.3231

Fax: 605.773.3580


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