Pet Cold Weather Tips
Yes, our four-legged furry members do have a fur coat (most of them), but this is not always the only thing they need when the temperature dips. They can be hearty but there are potentially dangerous hazards every pet parent must be aware of. The following are some pet cold weather tips:
- Make sure they are wearing a collar with clearly marked tags and that the microchip is in place and all information associated with it is current.
- Double check that your fence is secure. You also want to make sure you have a strong gate latch, as these are the first to blow open in a gusty storm.
- Be ready for anything, including power outages, blocked roads and closed stores/vet offices. Never let your supply of food and medications get lower than a weeks’ worth.
- Pet proof your interior spaces. Watch for open flames, space heaters and other winter objects that can be a hazard.
- Better yet, bring ‘em in. Cold weather can exacerbate medical conditions such as arthritis and asthma. Visit AVMA.org for more information.
- Keep them on a leash at all times. Paws.org states that more pets are lost in the winter than any other time. They can lose scent trails and/or become disoriented in harsh weather.
- Stay off any ice. Pets will fall through and you will go in after them. It is not safe for either of you.
- Shorter haired pets need a coat. You might also consider one for your senior pet. They have a harder time regulating their temperature.
- Protect their paws and rinse them as soon as you get home. Salt is toxic and they will lick it off of their paws. Make sure all snow that has accumulated between their pads is rinsed off with warm water.
- Cats are known to hide under cars during the cold months. Bang on your hood and look under your car before starting the engine.
- Antifreeze is used in abundance this time of year and pets are attracted to its’ sweet taste. Even a tiny amount can be lethal to your furry family member. Wipe up any spills and keep containers stored where it is not accessible.
- Just as in summer months, never leave a pet alone in the car. It just is not safe!
As in any medical emergency, make sure you call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet is suffering from hypothermia or toxic poisonings. The signs to look for are:
- Vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Lack of appetite
- Extreme thirst
- Dilated pupils
- Weak pulse
- Extreme shivering or slowed movement
This list is not all inclusive, so use your best judgement. As always, contact Gentle Touch Animal Hospital with any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 303.691.3720. Visit gentletouchanimalhospital.com for more information on us.
The cold weather has arrived and it is more important than ever to protect your furry family member. Gentle Touch Animal Hospital has compiled these top tips for you to remember:
- Antifreeze and ice melt is toxic! Wipe up any spills immediately. When your pet comes indoors, wipe their paws and underbelly so that they do not lick off ice melt. If your pet ingests either of these products head to your veterinarian immediately!
- If it feels cold to us, it will feel cold to them. Fur helps, but not completely. Closed cars will feel like the inside of a freezer. Leave them at home!
- Puppies do not tolerate cold as well as adult dogs so a sweater will help. Potty training may take longer in the winter, so be patient!
- Water bowls left outside will freeze. If your dog must be out, make sure you keep the water bowl liquefied.
- Paws can become frostbitten. If your pet will be outside for an extended period of time, put booties on them.
- Ice will cut paws. Beware.
- Tap on the hood of your car before starting your engine. Cats left out in the cold will climb up under the hood or wheel wells for warmth. Better yet, do not let your cat out when it is cold!
- Because more rodents tend to venture indoors during the cold months, you will probably be tempted to put out bait. Don’t do it. It is very toxic and dogs love it!
Your pets are family. Get them the care they deserve.Request Appointment