Winter Pet Tips
Winter Pet Tips
Humans aren't the only species that can suffer from the cold, icy blasts of winter. Here are some tips to help make sure that your dog stays healthy and comfortable during the next few months.
Keep pets away from antifreeze.Antifreeze tastes sweet to pets, but is poisonous if consumed. Should your pet ingest any amount of antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Keep an eye on the temperature. When it falls below 20 degrees Fahrenheit, it's best to keep your pet indoors. Short-haired dogs and puppies should be kept indoors when the temperature dips below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Regularly check your pet's water to make sure it's not frozen. When your pet is outside, make sure there is plenty of fresh drinking water available. Animals can't burn calories without a fresh supply of water, and if they can't burn calories, they'll get cold.
Consider the amount of exercise your dog receives during colder weather. If your dog stays indoors more, it's probably getting less exercise and may need less food; however, if your pet is outside often it may need more food to burn the calories necessary to produce more body heat.
Provide a dry, draft-free doghouse if you must keep your dog outside for any period of time. It should be large enough to allow your dog to sit and lay down comfortably but small enough to hold in its body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doghouse should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Use a damp towel to wipe your pet's feet and underside. Ice-melting chemicals can irritate and burn the pads of your pet's feet and can cause serious injury if ingested. Another way to protect your dog's feet is to spray the pads of its feet with cooking oil or purchase boots for your pet.
Many dogs also need boots in cold weather, regardless of coat length. If your dog frequently lifts his paws, whines, or stops during walks, it is demonstrating that its feet are uncomfortably cold. Be sure to get your dog used to wearing boots before the cold weather sets in.
Keep your pet's coat well groomed. Matted fur won't properly protect your pet from the cold.
If you have an emergency
Winter is a fun, enjoyable time for humans and pets alike, but make sure your beloved pets are protected from potential dangers. The Veterinary Medical Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and is available to assist your pets during any illness or injury.