It's sweater weather! Our pets are certainly feeling the colder temperatures out there, too! Let's keep them safe and comfortable with some friendly reminders:
- Ensure your pets' I.D. tags and microchip information are up-to-date! It is said that more pets go missing in the Winter than any other season, so if the unfortunate happens it is ideal to have a dog or cat properly identified.
- Keep your pets indoors as much as possible. To potty, keep them on a leash with shorter walk time or in a secure enclosure when outdoors. A good rule-of-thumb is that when you're cold, your pet is probably cold. That being said, if you accompany your pet outside for breaks you will be able to gauge when to come back inside.
- When traveling with your pet, do not leave him or her in the car alone. Cars capture the cold, and can act as a refrigerator. Hypothermia, or low body temperature, can result in serious complications and can be fatal to our loved critters. If it is too cold for the car, please leave them at home.
- If your pet MUST stay outside in the elements, please provide appropriate shelter and access to water. Warm bedding in a space with no drafts or open exposure is ideal. Some retailers even offer heated shelters and heated water bowls to avoid water freezing.
- Go ahead and stock up on cute winter pet gear, we won't judge! Bundling them up is better. :) Smaller and elderly dogs may need a sweater or two, and there are some booties available for different sized dogs to avoid frozen paws. If booties are not a practical option for you and your pet, make sure to wipe down paws after each chilly or wet visit outdoors. This will allow you time to check your pet for any cracked, red, or irritated paws.
- Keep your eyes out for outdoor/stray cats and other small wildlife looking for warmth! Community cats are known to look for warmer places in the colder weather, including under vehicle hoods and wheel wells. If you hear or see any critter near your car, please use caution to avoid injury.
- Another winter hazard we would like your pet to avoid is coolant/anti-freeze intoxication. Both are considered sweet to our pets, yet are dangerous for dogs and cats alike. Please clean up any spills and do not leave containers where your pet can access them.
- If we get snow or ice, make sure you have "safe salt" for your furry friends. Some sidewalk salts are safer than others and are developed to create less irritation to paws.
- Groom and bathe cautiously. Use your best judgment on whether a shaving or bath can wait until warmer temps come back around.
- Some diseases make regulating body temperature difficult for our pets. If your pet is diabetic or living with heart or kidney disease, please be mindful and take extra precaution. The cold also increases difficulty for our arthritic and frail pets. Please make sure you have plenty of medications on hand that your pet may be taking to ensure a more comfortable winter.
- If your pet has been exposed to the cold for too long, or you have any concerns regarding how he or she is tolerating the weather, never hesitate to come in for a veterinary check up.
Stay safe and warm, folks!