We are all aware of the risks of warm weather on our pets but have you ever thought about what the cold weather may do.
Here are a few tips to keep your pet safe this winter.
- Wellness exam with your pet’s veterinarian for cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis.
- What are your pets limit cold tolerance? Just like you and I, they also have a limit to the cold. This is based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level and overall health. Shorten walks, watch for slippery surfaces especially with elderly pets for we don’t want them to pull a muscle or break something. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease have a harder time keeping body temperature regulated.
- Giving your pets lots of comfortable sleeping places throughout the house for at times they may need to be in a warmer area vs. a cooler area of the house. They can move around as needed.
- Keep your cat inside during cold weather. Your dog can go out for a short period to relieve themselves but should come right back in. Some of us think that because they have fur, they can handle the cold, but this is not always true.
- Check your car in the morning before starting by making noise or gentle taping the side of it to make sure no stray cats are sleeping under the hood.
- Check your pets’ paws after coming in from outside. Make sure no snow has built up in them, cracked pads or torn nails. After long walks on salty roads and sidewalks wiping down your dog’s paws will also help from cracking and bleeding.
- If you do have a dog with a shorter fur coat buying them a jacket or a sweater to wear outside will keep them warm and looking festive. You can also buy booties to protect their feet during those cold walks.
- Bright and colourful collars should be worn for those night walks, and even during the day when snow is coming down heavy, it helps to see your pet easier. Also, microchip your pet if they are known to wonder for snow also can cover familiar scents, and they may not find their way back home.
- Keep your pet away from antifreeze spills when out walking. Stay away from ice such as ponds, lakes and rivers for they may not be solid enough to hold your dog’s weight.
Have fun this winter and stay safe.
Written by: Christine Attridge-Hardy, Practice Manager