Cold Weather Care

As temperatures continue to dip, we can’t forget that if we’re affected by the wintry weather, then our pets are too. Here are six tips to help keep your furry friends safe this winter.

1. Limit outside time
If you can, try to limit the time your pet spends outside during the coldest months. If your pet must be outside for long periods of time, make sure they have a proper shelter and a coat or a sweater to keep them warmer. If your pet has been spending a lot of time outside and she has blisters or waxy, firm skin, you should take her to the vet, as these are signs of frostbite. And don’t forget to check outdoor water bowls regularly so they don’t become solid ice.

2. Watch out for salt
The salt used on sidewalks and roads to keep ice and snow away can be rough on your friend’s paws. After any walks, clean your pup’s paws and any leg or belly hairs that could have been dragging along the ground. You may also want to try booties to protect your dog’s paws. If you have outdoor cats, check their paws regularly.

3. Go for a trim, not a drastic new style
Don’t cut your pet’s hair short in the wintertime. Their hair is their best defense against the cold. If you have a long-haired pup, just trim any longer strands on his belly and between his toes to keep debris from getting trapped.

4. Keep an eye on your car
If you notice your car leaking antifreeze, clean it up immediately and keep your pets out of the area. Antifreeze is extremely deadly to both dogs and cats, so if your pet is acting strangely after being around your car, get her to the vet immediately. If you are putting antifreeze in your car, use a pet friendly or propylene glycol option. Also, if you have outdoor cats in your neighborhood, check under your hood before starting your car. Outdoor kitties may hide near your engine to try and keep warm.

5. Feed him a little more
Cold weather burns more energy, since the body works harder to try and keep its temperature up. As a result, your furry friends might be a little hungrier than usual. But remember – do not overfeed. You should be able to feel, but not see, your pet’s ribs.

6. Think twice before leaving her in the car
If you can’t bring your pet inside wherever you’re headed, it is probably best to leave him at home. If it’s too cold to leave him outside, then it’s too cold to leave him in the car.

Always remember: if you’re cold, there’s a good chance your fuzzy friends are, too. Keep your pets safe and warm this winter.