Keep Pets Safe In Cold Weather

Posted by Chloe Sykes on
Keep Pets Safe In Cold Weather
We're halfway through November, and with winter on the horizon, we know that the temperature will drop, and rain and snow will fall. Just like humans, pets aren't too fond of the cold. They'll snuggle up beside you on the couch and avoid time outside. Even though cats and dogs have fur, it doesn't mean they can't get frostbite or hypothermia. Even thick-coated breeds such as huskies shouldn't be left outside for long periods of time. Help your pets survive the winter with these cold-weather tips.
  • Take your pet to the vet for their annual exam. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances may have a harder time regulating body temperature. Your vet can help keep them comfortable.
  • The seasons can be unpredictable, so prepare a disaster kit.
  • Be mindful of how often you bathe your pets. Too frequently can increase skin dryness. Your vet can recommend a moisturizing shampoo. Another tip to prevent itchy skin: keep a humidifier in your home and towel dry or use Metro Wipes after walks.
  • When going on walks, massage petroleum jelly into paw pads or put on booties to help protect from ice, antifreeze, and salt. Additionally consider a sweater to help keep them warm. Trim the hair between your dog's toes to reduce ice accumulation.
  • Antifreeze and de-icers can be lethal. Clean up any spills and wipe your pets after walks should they accidentally come in contact with chemicals.
  • If you have an outdoor pet, consider increasing their food to help their bodies generate more heat. Speak with your veterinarian about your pet's diet. Before driving, make sure you check under your vehicle before starting the engine as they might sleep near the heat of the car.
  • Just as you wouldn't leave pets in cars in hot weather, don't do so in cold weather. Vehicles can hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze.
  • If you can't keep your pet inside your house, give them shelter against wind and other elements, providing fresh water and warm blankets. Heaters and heat lamps should be avoided due to burn and fire hazards.
One final tip is to know the signs your pet is in danger. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, "If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect, and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done." If you think your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, contact your vet immediately.

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