As the weather turns cold, it is important to consider how seasonal changes affect your pets. The following tips will keep your pets safe when the temperature dips.
• Keep pets inside as much as possible. Young pets, old pets and short-haired pets are more vulnerable to cold weather and should not be left outside unsupervised.
• If your pet has to be kept outside (NOT recommended), provide shelter for him/her. Add straw for additional insulation from the cold and provide a snug, warm bed that does not sit directly on the ground
• Provide your pet with extra food and water, in plastic bowls, when outside for extended periods of time.
• Ice-melting chemicals and salt can irritate and burn the pads of your pet’s paws. Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s paws once it has returned inside.
• Clip the long hair on the bottom of your dog’s feet to prevent build up of ice balls that can be painful and difficult to remove.
• Trim nails regularly. It is difficult to maintain solid footing with long nails in icy conditions.
• Antifreeze is poisonous. Thoroughly clean up any spills and store household chemicals out of your pet’s reach. Consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
• "Bang" on the hood of your car before starting the engine. Cats and wildlife may seek warmth and climb into the engine.
• Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. All pets, including small caged pets need to be kept warm and away from drafts.
• Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite or hypothermia.
Following these winter-proofing tips will help keep your pets healthy, happy and safe during the cold winter months.
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