Winter is here and in the northeast that can mean cold winds, snow, and ice. This weather can pose some serious threats to your pet’s health. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind to help keep your furry friends safe throughout the winter season.
Know Their Limits. Just like people, pets have a limit to how much cold they can handle based on their health, age, activity level, and breed. Be aware of their tolerance and adjust your routine or activities as needed.
Provide Choices. Your pet may prefer different sleeping and resting locations based on how warm they decide they need to be. Provide some safe options and allow them to vary their sleeping place based on their needs.
Stay Inside. Your pet should not be outside for extended periods of time when the weather is below freezing or wet. Just like you, your pet can catch frostbite and hypothermia if left outside to long.
Provide shelter. If your pet will be outside for longer periods, provide some sort of shelter for them. Make sure they have access to fresh, non-frozen water and food. Avoid using space heaters or heat lamps as those can lead to severe burns. Change any blankets or fill them regularly to keep the area warm and dry.
Check the Paws. Check your pet’s paws for signs of cold-weather injury or damage. Look for cracked paw pads or bleeding. Keep the hair trimmed between your pet’s toes to help with ice accumulation.
Dress Up. If your dog has a short coat, is low to the ground, or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or coat. Some pet owners use booties to protect their dog’s feet from the ice and snow. If you decide to get any clothing or booties, make sure they fit properly.
Wipe Down. Wipe down your pet’s paws and underbelly as soon as they enter the house. This can help them dry off safer as well as remove any chemicals that could be toxic. You never know what kind of deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals they may have picked up while outside.
Collar and Chip. Losing a pet can be stressful but that stress just increases if your pet becomes lost during the winter months. Make sure that your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date contact information. Microchipping is another way to make sure they have identification information, just make sure to keep your registration up to date.
Wellness Check-Ups. Cold weather can worsen certain medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should have a yearly check-up with their vet to make sure that any medical conditions are under control.
These tips from the Animal Veterinary Medical Association can help keep your pet safe during the cold winter months. Make sure your pet is protected year-round with pet insurance. Give us a call at 844-GANNONS for more information.