Keep furry friends happy and healthy during the chilly winter season by following some of these tips and tricks!
-Take your pets in for a wellness exam if they haven’t visited the vet yet this year, as winter can cause flare-ups in conditions like arthritis.
-Ensure that microchips and collar tags contain up-to-date contact information.
-Be sure your home is pet-friendly even during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season: make sure pets steer clear of space heaters, fireplaces, toxic foods and plants, etc.
-Winter is the most common season for dogs to get lost because their scent trails often get thrown off, so keep pups on a leash.
-If your fuzzy friend is thin, sick, or has short hair, opt for a doggie coat or sweater to keep them warm and cozy.
-Protect paws by keeping toe hair trimmed and removing salt and snow clumps as soon as they come inside. Check for cracks and bleeding, and add a protective layer of Vaseline to paws before walks. Just remember to wipe it off post-outdoor adventure. Also clean off bellies and legs to remove any antifreeze residue or harsh ice-removal chemicals.
-Don’t let pets walk on frozen bodies of water, no matter how solid the ice may seem. Safety first!
-Just like in the summertime, don’t leave your pet unattended in a car.
-We suggest keeping pets inside during the winter, as they can be afflicted with frostbite and hypothermia, even with their fur. If an animal has to be outdoors, ensure they at least have access to shelter, unfrozen water, and thick, dry bedding.
-Animals are attracted to the sweet taste of antifreeze, and even a small amount is deadly. Clean up spills immediately and keep tabs on wandering pets, as neighbors or nearby businesses might not be aware of the dangers of antifreeze.
-Cats will often hide under vehicles, crawl into wheel wells, and even snuggle up to an engine to keep warm as temperatures drop. Make loud noises, tap on the hood, and take a quick look under and around your car to ensure it’s feline-free before taking off.
-Monitor your pet’s caloric intake if they are less active during the winter months. It’s easy for them to pack on the pounds, which can be detrimental to their health.
-Warning signs of hypothermia:
- Body temperature is less than 95 degrees
- Weak pulse
- Whining, intense shivering, or slow movement
- Dilated pupils
- Dazed or unconscious
Please get help for your pet ASAP if you suspect hypothermia, as it can result in coma, heart problems, kidney failure, and death.
Additional Winter Safety Resources:
–American Veterinary Medical Association