Winter and Your Pets

Burr, it’s cold outside.

With the changing weather upon us, this means that your pets’ outdoor needs will have to change a little. Here are some tips to help this winter!

Dogs:

  • Limit time outdoors in freezing temperatures.
  • If your dog is used to being outside set up a warm location for him/her to sleep in. Provide blankets and even a heat lamp.
  • Check your dog’s pads daily for snow and ice build-up. Trimming the hair from between his pads will help prevent ice and snow buildup.
  • Watch out for antifreeze! This is extremely toxic to pets and is more prevalent in the colder months.
  • Wipe down your dog after walks. Your dog’s feet can collect toxic materials that are placed on snow and ice during the cold/freezing weather.

Cats:

  • If your outdoor cat has a shelter raise it off the ground. This will allow it stay warmer then if it was located on the ground.
  • If your cat has access to a garage be careful before starting your vehicle as cats like to hide in engines.
  • Check your cat’s water multiple times a day. Cats must have access to water to stay healthy.
  • If your indoor cat normally sleeps on the floor try moving the bed to an elevated location.
  • If your cat is older and has arthritis the cold weather will often make them uncomfortable. They make joint supplements for cats, ask us about it!

Signs Your Pet is Too Cold

  • Shivering
  • Slow movements
  • Listlessness
  • Frostbite on tips of toes, tail, tips of the ears, scrotal area, and the bottom of their feet. Frostbite will appear as scabs or raw areas on the ear tips, foot pads, and toes. The will get hard and be completely black in color. If you suspect frostbite in your pet you want to slowly warm the extremities and call the DVM ASAP!

 ALWAYS have fresh water available.  Animals drink more water when its cold.