8 ways to keep your pets safe this winter

These eight simple and practical winter safety tips will keep your pet safe, healthy and happy during the upcoming snowstorms and cold weather.

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  • As fall fades and winter approaches, we are all are preparing for the holidays, ski season and the snowy months ahead. While winter provides fun opportunities, it also brings some risks that are important to prepare your home and family for. But what about your furriest family member?

  • Here are eight simple safety tips for keeping your pet secure, healthy and happy this winter:

  • 1. Be mindful of what your pet eats

  • The holidays are a time for decadent meals and scrumptious treats, but while your dog may wag its tail in hopes of a scrap, keep in mind that many foods can be deadly to pets. If you want to stay safe, avoid giving your pet food from the table and stick to vet-approved treats.

  • 2. Keep doors closed as much as possible

  • With guests coming and going, there will be lots of movement in your home. Watch your pets closely and make sure they don't escape through an open door. Let your guests know you have a pet in your home so they can help you keep tabs on where the cat is.

  • 3. Get your pet a collar with a tag

  • It may seem like a no-brainer, but ensuring your pet is wearing a collar and ID tag is a simple yet effective way to keep your pet safe. A collar greatly increases the chances of a safe return if your pet gets lost. Even if your pet is primarily kept indoors, it's still smart for them to always wear a collar. You may even want to consider a smart collar with GPS tracking so you can see your pet's location and check their health with your smartphone or tablet.

  • 4. Secure your home and your pet while traveling

  • Holidays are a great time for family travel, but also a prime time for break-ins. No matter how far or near you travel, you will be leaving your home unattended and open to burglars. Security systems help to deter thieves and protect your pet from the trauma of an intruder. There are plenty of options available that allow your pet to roam safely indoors without setting off the motion detector, so you can rest assured both your home and your pet are safe while you're visiting grandma.

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  • 5. Designate a room in the house for your pet

  • If your pet gets anxious around strangers, the bustle of the holiday season might be stressful for your furry friend. While hosting holiday parties, keep your pet in its own designated room. Create a safe haven specifically for your pet, complete with food, water and toys. This will ease your pet's anxiety and keep it feeling healthier and happier this winter.

  • 6. Keep an eye on your pet when you're away from home

  • This season is a time when you're likely to be out of the house doing last-minute Christmas shopping, leaving your pet home alone for hours at a time. Consider installing a pet-camera to keep an eye on your dog or cat and see if they are misbehaving. This will also give you peace of mind and allow you to check on your pet's safety as well as the order of your home.

  • 7. Keep hazardous chemicals stored out of reach

  • If you buy any hazardous chemicals to remove snow or ice this winter, keep them away from your pet! Antifreeze and road salt pose major health threats to animals; the sweet scent of antifreeze often draws pets in-but it can be deadly if ingested. Make sure you keep these hazardous products stored safely out of reach of your pet. These chemicals can also irritate your pet's skin, especially if you are walking your dog on salted roads and walkways. Routinely check their paws for signs of damage, such as rawness or bleeding. You should also wipe down your dog's paws after a walk to make sure they aren't licking the harmful salt off their paws after exercising.

  • 8. Be wary of dropping temperatures

  • Cold winters pose dangerous threats to your pets. While some pets can tolerate the cold, pets are still susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. Watch out for ice and pay attention to below-freezing temperatures while walking your dog or letting your cat outside. If your pet must stay outside, provide extra shelter like a blanket, water in pet-safe heated bowl and an igloo. And in the case of severe storms, remember your pet by keeping an emergency kit on hand that includes food, water and any medications they might need.

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  • Hopefully these tips will make sure everyone in the family has a happy and safe winter.

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Sage is a freelance writer with a passion for literature and words. She's written for a variety of audiences ranging from government sites to lifestyle magazines. In her free time, she enjoys wedding planning, training for marathons and re-reading Harry Potter books. . Sage is currently employed as a safety expert and loves teaching people how to make their home and community safer.

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