5 Winter Safety Tips for Pets

Now that we’re in the middle of winter, there are new dangers for your pet to consider, especially with New York’s frigid temps. The Veterinary Emergency Group in White Plains and Nanuet, NY, doesn’t want to just treat emergencies; we want to help prevent them. That’s why we’ve dedicated this blog to five winter safety tips for pets. And remember, if ever your pet is need of emergency care, we’re available nights, weekends, and holidays.

Sidewalk Salt

Sidewalk salt and is the norm for New York’s winters, but did you know they can be dangerous to pets? Many sidewalk salt and other ice-melting products contain chemicals that can irritate your pet’s paw pads. To protect your pet, consider buying them a couple pairs of booties to wear while outdoors, or use a special paw protective wax/balm.


Antifreeze poisoning is one of the most common forms of poisoning we see in the winter time. This toxic substance can drip on garage floors and driveways from car radiators, and with its sweet taste, it lures hundreds of animals to drink it every year. But if your pet were to drink even one tablespoon of antifreeze, 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 glycol if accidentally ingested.

Car Engines

When temps drop, cats are known to seek out warmth wherever they can, even under the hoods of cars. This may seem like a safe place to a cat, but once that car is started, the cat can become seriously injured or even killed by the fan belt. If you’ve noticed any stray cats in your neighborhood or near your workplace—or even if you haven’t—try to get in the habit of knocking on your hood or checking underneath it to make sure there isn’t an animal nestled inside.


Cats aren’t the only animals out looking for a toasty place to retreat to this winter. The mice and other rodents will be searching, too, and sometimes, that toasty place can be a house basement. If you think a rodent has found its way into your home, think twice before using rodenticide, since it can attract your pet just as easily as a rodent. Many rodenticides are designed to have delayed effects, so if your pet were to ingest any, you wouldn’t know about it until hours or even days later. Consider a safer, more humane way to rid your house of rodents. Sometimes just having a cat in the house is enough to do the trick!


Pets are susceptible to frostbite, just like people are, and if the temperatures are cold enough, frostbite can take place in a matter of minutes. A pet’s ears and tail are usually the two parts that are most likely to get frostbitten, so always limit your pet’s time outdoors during the winter, and consider giving them a sweater or booties when they go outside to give them some extra warmth.

If you ever suspect your pet has been frostbitten or poisoned or is in need of emergency care for any other reason, contact the Veterinary Emergency Group immediately at 914-949-8779 (White Plains) or 845-536-5645 (Nanuet).