5 Winter Dangers to Pets

dog cold in snow

Every season has its share of fun, but there can also be some dangers involved, too, especially for pets. Consider Animal Emergency Center, P.C.’s list below of five potential winter dangers to your pet, and remember, we’re open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for pet emergencies.


Considered a sweet but deadly poison, antifreeze is commonly used in cars and can leak from the radiator, dripping onto on your garage floor or your driveway. It’s important to be mindful of this while your pet is outdoors. Animals find the sweet taste of this toxic substance hard to resist, but with just one lick, the results can be fatal if treatment isn’t sought immediately. You can protect your pet by using an antifreeze brand that contains propylene glycol, which is less toxic than ethylene if accidentally ingested.


Pets may be covered in fur, but they’re still susceptible to frostbite, just like people are. The ears, paws, and tail are typically the first areas to become frostbitten in cold winter conditions. If the temperatures are cold enough, frostbite can take place in a matter of minutes. Always limit your pet’s time outdoors during the winter, and consider giving them a sweater or pet booties when they go outside to give them some extra warmth.

Sidewalk Salt

Sidewalk salt and other ice-melting chemicals are obviously common at this time of year, but they can be dangerous for your pet’s paw pads, resulting in burns. If you recently salted your sidewalk and driveway, give your pet a couple pairs of booties or other form of paw protection, like special waxes, to keep their paws safe. You may also want to consider a pet-friendly ice-melting formula.

Car Engines

Even if you don’t have an outdoor pet, there may be a stray looking for warmth in your neighborhood or near your workplace. Often, animals—especially cats—find this warm under the hood of a car. But once that car is started, any animal inside can be seriously injured or even killed. If you’ve ever seen stray cats—or even if you haven’t—near your car, get in the habit of checking under the hood or knocking on it before starting the car to scare off any animals that may be sleeping underneath.


Cats aren’t the only animals looking for a warm place to stay in the winter. Rats, mice, and other rodents are, too, and sometimes, that place can be your basement. If you think you have a rodent problem in your home, avoid using rodenticides, since your pet may find them before the mice do. Since rodenticides are poisonous, they can be deadly to any animal that ingests it. Consider a safer, more humane way to rid your house of rodents. Sometimes just having a cat nearby is enough to do the trick!

If you ever suspect your pet has been poisoned or frostbitten or is in need of emergency care for any other reason this winter, contact Animal Emergency Center, P.C. immediately at 918-665-0508. We’re open 24/7, so when you need us, we’ll be here