Weather Safety Tips for Pets - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Mar 10, 2023

Weather Safety Tips for Pets


Use Our Guide To Protect Your Pets No Matter The Weather!

Learning to prepare for the unexpected and protect our homes and families from extreme weather conditions is a natural instinct for many.  In extreme heat, we know to stay hydrated, stay in the shade, and protect our skin from the sun’s exposure. In extreme winter weather,  we know to stock up on non-perishable food, water, and other emergency preparedness items. Although it can feel like second nature to prepare ourselves, it may not always occur to us to prepare for our pets.  Here are some helpful tips for protecting our furry friends from extreme weather conditions.


In the Cold 

Unless you have strictly indoor pets, you will likely need to let them out multiple times a day. During the colder months, it’s a good idea to try and schedule these trips  during the day, when temperatures will be at their highest. Once the sun goes down, temperatures drop significantly which can be harmful and even painful to walk on with bare paws. Not only can the ice be painful to walk on, but the chemicals in certain ice melting salts and deicers can cause skin irritation.  It’s best to wipe their paws with a clean damp washcloth to remove any chemicals when returning inside.  You might also consider purchasing pet socks or booties to help keep their paws warm and safe during play time and on walks. 


During a Thunderstorm

It is not uncommon to find that your pets are afraid of  thunder and lightning. Animals tend to have a heightened sense of hearing compared to our own. With that in mind, it makes sense that loud noises can trigger fear in some animals. If left outside during a storm, your pet can become disoriented and may even run away or become lost. If your pet is especially skittish during storms, it is a good idea to keep anti-anxiety medication on hand as well as a weighed “thunder” blanket to help them stay calm. You also might consider setting up weather related alerts on your phone, that can warn you about upcoming storms, giving you time to keep your pets inside where they are comfortable and safe. 


In the Heat

Just like us, our pets tend to need more water when it’s hot. Unfortunately, they may not be able to effectively communicate this to you. It’s important to be proactive by providing an ample amount of water to your pet as well as to recognize the signs of dehydration. For example, common signs of dehydration in a dog are a dry mouth and nose, intense panting, thick or pasty saliva, and lack of appetite. It is crucial to keep your pet well-hydrated, especially during times of extreme heat.

Heat will be at its most intense between noon and 3:00 PM. It is best to keep your pet inside or in the shade during these hours. In days of extreme heat, it is a good idea to  plan outside playtime during the early morning hours or later in the evening.

In addition, it’s important to remember that dark colored objects absorb heat quickly and will be hot to the touch.  Be careful when walking your pet on pavement during extreme heat, as it can cause pain and damage to your pet’s paws.  A good rule of thumb when it comes to hot pavement is to place the palms of your hand to the pavement and hold them there for five to ten seconds. If it’s too for you to keep your hands on comfortably, then it’s too hot for them to walk on.

Weather conditions affect all of us, including our pets. Check out this downloadable pet- safety weather guide with tips on how to best protect your pet in the heat, cold and during a storm. Hang it on your fridge to refer to when needed, or to teach your family the basics! It’s important to plan ahead and know how having pets may affect other aspects of your life, like your home or renters insurance. Check out the link below to learn more.