Pet Health

CATS & DOGS IN WINTER: SAFETY TIPS FOR COLD WEATHER LIMIT YOUR PET’S EXPOSURE TO THE COLD

It’s best to keep pets indoors, where it’s warm as much as possible during the winter. Different animals have different tolerance levels to the cold. But their paws can get red and irritated with the cold, snow and ice.

Of course, you can still take your pets out for walks — just make them shorter to prevent cold weather illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite. When you’re out, dress your pet in booties and a sweater or jacket to keep their feet and fur clean, dry, and snow-free. Plus, give pets additional protection against the cold by not shaving their fur as wintertime approaches.

It’s difficult to put a time frame on being outside, as it can depend on the temperature, conditions, and what type of shelter a dog or cat may have. We would suggest not having animals outside overnight in cold weather or unsupervised when you’re not home and if they are out, having an option for shelter and access to water, even if they are only outside for an hour.

Signs of being outside too long can include red or irritated paws, paws that have started to bleed because ice has gotten stuck between their toes, shaking/shivering, lethargy, pale, blue or grey gums, and tongue, or the fur or skin is cold to touch. Please contact your vet if you have any concerns about these potential cold weather pet emergencies.

CHECK-IN, CHECKUP

Since pets can’t exactly articulate if they’re feeling bad, it’s up to you to take notice. Every now and then, check your pet’s paws for signs of cold weather damage or injuries, and take notice of any behavior changes, which could be symptoms of cold weather illnesses.

This may also be a good time for a yearly veterinary checkup since the

cold weather can worsen some medical conditions, such as arthritis, in older pets.

KEEP PETS AWAY FROM DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES

Pets can be mischievous, and that gets them into accidents. Keep them away from food that could potentially harm them, as well as other dangerous substances including antifreeze.

In the flurry of winter activity, take time to notice your pet. Just this small act can make all the difference in preventing cold weather issues from developing.

By keeping your pet safe and warm, you’ll already have fought half the battle when it comes to protecting them from the worst issues brought on by cold weather. However, if your pet needs medications due to any disease or illness, please contact PetDrugStore.com or call 800.930.3160 and we’ll help you and your furry friend!

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