Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips

December 22, 2017 in Aerowood Animal Hospital

The dangers of warm weather and pets are well documented. Less so, however, is cold weather. Just because they have fur does not mean they are impervious to the cold. The weather can harm their health. It can lead to discomforts such as chapped paws to more serious issues such as hypothermia. Below are some tips for dealing with cold weather.

  • Don’t shave your dog down to the skin. In winter, that extra fur will provide needed warmth. Just trim their fur enough to prevent tangles and minimize clinging ice balls.
  • Keep them inside when it’s extremely cold. No pet, even breeds that are from colder climates, should be outside for long periods of time in below-freezing temperatures.
  • Check your car carefully before leaving. Pets or stray animals may hide under vehicles in cold weather. Honk your horn or knock on the hood of the car to encourage them to leave.
  • Check their paws after walks. Walks outside could lead to cracked or bleeding paws. Also, check to see if there is ice or salt lodged between the toes and remove it. These can irritate a dog’s paws if unattended.
  • On walks, stay vigilant for anti-freeze or de-icing spills. Even a small amount of these chemicals can be deadly to a pet. If you see spills on your property, clean them up immediately.
  • Stay away from frozen bodies of water. There is no way to tell if they can support your pet’s weight or not.
  • For extra paw protection, massaging a little bit of petroleum jelly into the paw pads before going outside can protect them from salt and chemical agents.

Cold weather can be dangerous, but with planning and preparation, it doesn’t have to be.

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