How to Keep Your Dog Safe During a Winter Storm

Posted by Scott Tunstall

Winter storms might not be as catastrophic as hurricanes and tornadoes, but they still impact millions of people and pets every year. Severe winter weather in the U.S. typically occurs between early December and late March when cold, dry Canadian air collides with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. Hazardous conditions caused by freezing rain, heavy snowfall and high winds can put lives in severe danger if the correct precautions are not taken. Follow these guidelines to keep you and your four-legged friend safe during the winter season.

Storm Prep 101

The combination of power outages and road closures could result in you and your pets being trapped inside for days. Stock up on supplies of non-perishable food, bottled water, medicine, blankets, candles and batteries for flashlights and lanterns. If your home is outfitted with a fireplace, make sure you have plenty of firewood, fire logs, paper and matches on hand. If you don’t own a fireplace, it’s a good idea to invest in a portable generator to power an electric heater. Pets may have furry coats, but they are still at risk when temperatures suddenly drop. Keeping them warm and toasty is a priority.

Riding Out the Storm

Never leave your pet outside or in a garage during a winter storm. They may love playing in the snow, but blizzard-like conditions are not pet friendly. It’s recommended to confine pets to the room with the biggest heat source. A cold house can make pets extra sleepy, so monitor them closely to make sure they don’t become sluggish or erratic. Have a favorite toy nearby to keep them active and engaged. When venturing outdoors for bathroom breaks, Fido should be leashed at all times and never left unattended. Dogs can lose their scent and get lost in the blowing snow. If your pet is small or short-haired, dressing them in a vest and booties will provide extra protection from the frigid elements.

After the Storm

The effects of violent winter weather can linger for days. Depending on the amount of ice and snow deposited and the total number of outages, restoring power to your home may be a lengthy process. Ration your supplies accordingly. After the storm passes, dogs might be eager to frolic in the snow-covered wonderland left behind. However, be on the lookout for hazards that could injure your pet such as downed power lines, icicles on roof eaves and heavy blocks of wet snow sliding off rooftops. The snow-melting salt used by Department of Transportation plows can also be harmful to dogs if it sticks to paws or is ingested. Wipe the salt off with a damp cloth to prevent discomfort or sickness. Finally, check between toes for irritating chunks of crusty snow.

Don’t Forget F.I.D.O.

BringFido, the world’s leading pet travel and lifestyle brand, has developed a four-step checklist to help keep your furry friends safe and by your side during a disaster or major emergency. Before it’s too late, remember to F.I.D.O.!

Standing By

BringFido stands ready to assist you during any emergency evacuation. Our Canine Concierges have secured thousands of hotels, vacation rentals and shelters for evacuees, while offering essential advice on how best to navigate these highly stressful times. Visit our website or mobile app, like this traveler who left a review of BringFido, where you can browse and book more than 250,000 hotels and vacation rentals around the country. Or, call us and let us do the legwork for you. Our Canine Concierge team contacts the hotel to confirm the assignment of a pet-friendly room and can even help with any exceptions or special requests that you may have.

Remember that when you book with BringFido, you enjoy the benefit of our Pet Friendly Guarantee, and you’ll never pay a booking fee. Call us at 877-411-3436 to speak to one of our friendly agents, or save some time and book online. Either way, our service is free.

The animal members of our family turn to us for safety and protection during natural disasters. Taking the time to prepare could be the difference between tragedy and a silver lining. Follow the four steps of F.I.D.O. and check in with #fidosafe to let us know you’re safe.

Are you and your pet prepared for severe winter weather? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!