Have you given thought to "winterizing your pet?" Consider these cold weather tips for your pet's safety and well being.
- Animals left outdoors without proper shelter and exposed to freezing temperatures are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. As our weather turns colder, it is our responsibility to consider how these changes can affect our pets. Consider heated igloo dog houses, heated beds, and heated water bowls for extremely cold weather. Adding straw to dog houses can add insulation. Lots of comfy blankets are a must! For outdoor cats, a warm snug bed that doesn't sit directly on the cold ground or concrete is a welcome sight.
- Ears, toes, tails, scrotum and areas least covered by fur are most susceptible to frostbite. The signs of frostbite are red swollen areas of skin that appear pale and/or white. To treat frostbite, immerse the area in warm water for approximately 20 minutes and NEVER use hot water. Call your veterinarian immediately!
- Hypothermia occurs when a pet has been exposed to very cold temperatures and/or winds for an extended period of time. Symptoms include very low body temperature, drowsiness, exhaustion, shivering and possibly stumbling. Treatment of hypothermia is to surround the pet in hot water bottles, warm towels or immerse them in room-temperature water and slowly add warmer water. Call your veterinarian immediately!
- Inspect your pet's paws regularly to check for cracked pads, snow or ice damage and broken nails.
- Inspect your pet's coat frequently and also brush to distribute the natural oils to the skin.
- Keep antifreeze and other poisons in locked secure areas where our pets can't go. They can be deadly to our pets.