Winter Safety Tips

Cold weather can be hard on pets, just like it can be hard on people. There are things you can do to keep your animals warm and safe. Keep your pet indoors as much as you can when the temperature drops. If you have to take them outside, stay outside with them. When you’re cold enough to go inside, they probably are too. If you absolutely must leave them outside for a significant length of time, make sure they have a warm, solid shelter against the wind, thick bedding. Hay is a great insulator that they can snuggle down in. Also, ensure they have access to fresh non-frozen water. Animals that don’t have access to clean, unfrozen water are more likely to drink out of puddles or gutters, which can be polluted with oil, antifreeze, household cleaners, and other chemical.

If you have any questions about how long your pet should be out this winter, ask one of our team memebers.

Cats will curl up against almost anything to stay warm–including car engines. Cats caught in moving engine parts can be seriously hurt or killed. Before you turn your engine on, check beneath the car or make a lot of noise by honking the horn or rapping on the hood.

If you live near a pond or lake, be very cautious about letting your dog off the leash. Animals can easily fall through the ice, and it is very difficult for them to escape on their own. If you must let your dogs loose near open water, stay with them at all times

If you light a fire or plug in a space heater to keep your home toasty warm, remember that the heat will be as attractive to your pets as to you. As your dog or cat snuggles up to the warmth, keep an eye out to make sure that no tails or paws come in contact with flames, heating coils, or hot surfaces. Pets can either burn themselves or knock a heat source over and put the entire household in danger.

Pets that go outside can pick up rock salt, ice, and chemical ice melts in their foot pads. To keep your pet’s pads from getting chapped and raw, wipe her feet with a washcloth when she comes inside. If your canine friend will tolerate it there are special booties that can help protect their paws from the winter elements and any chemicals or salts that art put out. This will also keep her from licking the salt off her feet, which could cause an inflammation of her digestive tract

If your pet will put up with it, go ahead and put a sweater on them. It will help a little, but you can’t depend on it entirely to keep them warm. Pets lose most of their body heat from the pads of their feet, their ears, and their respiratory tract. The best way to guard your animals against the cold is keeping a close eye on them to make sure they’re comfortable

Be particularly gentle with elderly and arthritic pets during the winter. The cold can leave their joints extremely stiff and tender, and they may become more awkward than usual. Stay directly below these pets when they are climbing stairs or jumping onto furniture; consider modifying their environment to make it easier for them to get around. Make sure they have a thick, soft bed in a warm room for the chilly nights. Also, watch stiff and arthritic pets if you walk them outside; a bad slip on the ice could be very painful and cause a significant injury.

When you’re outside with your pets during the winter, you can watch them for signs of discomfort with the cold. If they whine, shiver, seem anxious, slow down or stop moving, or start to look for warm places to burrow, they’re saying they want to get back someplace warm

Winter can be a beautiful time of year. It can be a dangerous time as well, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. If you take some precautions, you and your pet can have a fabulous time.

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