Winter Pet Safety Tips

Winter Pet Safety Tips

Most people are aware of the risk posed by warm weather for your pets, but did you know that cold weather also poses threats for your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keep your furry friend safe during winter:

Winter Wellness Check-up: Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. If you know your cat or dog might have arthritis, go see your vet so that he/she can prescribe your pet the necessary medication to make winter more durable.

Know the limits: Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance vary from pet to pet based on their coats, body fat stores, activity level, and health. You will probably take your dog for shorter walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks.  Pets with diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, make sure that you keep them warm and comfortable during winter times.  As previously mentioned, there are some conditions that may worsen during the winter times, when you know your pet has arthritis, keep him/her inside and limit walks outside.

A Safe space: Your pet will need a safe spot where he/she can snuggle up during those cold winter days. Make sure that there are more than one warm bed for your pets so that they have a choice. Always keep a clean warm blanket on hand, you do need to change their bedding weekly as well.

Keep them inside: It is a common belief that cats and dogs are more resistant to cold weather, but that is not true. They can also get hypothermia, so keep them inside when possible. If you cannot keep pets inside, make sure they have a heat lamp and bed to sleep on or let them sleep in the garage if possible.

Play dress-up: If you have a short (or long-) haired dog that seems bothered by the cold, you might want to get him a winter sweater. Make sure that you have several sweaters, if your dog goes outside and play around they will most likely be wet and you need to change the sweater. Do not let your dog walk around with a wet sweater.

Feed Well: Pets may burn some extra energy trying to stay warm during winter. If you have an active dog that is not prone to weight gain, you may feed them a bit extra. Also make sure that you have fresh water for them, keep them hydrated during those winter days.

Smell Away: We would advise you to not bathe your pet as much during the winter times. Washing them too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of them developing a dry flaky skin. If you do decide to wash your dog during winter, make sure you use a shampoo that is specifically for dry and itchy skin. Also you need to dry them after the bath.

Clean Shave: Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Their coats do provide more heat during those cold winter days and nights.

Stay home: If you go out, rather leave your pet at home. We all know that you should never leave your dog in the car during summer, but did you know leaving your pet in a car in winter can also be harmful to them. We all know how cold a car can get during the winter times.

 

For more info on cold weather and pets, speak to your vet or veterinary assistant.

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