Keeping Your Pets Safe This Winter: Cold Weather Tips

Keeping Your Pets Safe This Winter: Cold Weather Tips

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, you must provide a safe and healthy environment for your pets during the colder months. When snow falls, the terrain changes. You and your pet cannot see what possible dangers are hidden in the snow. The harsh drop in temperatures can also cause chaos in your pet’s health. If you want to keep your pets safe this winter, here’s what you must know.
 

Perform a Car Check Daily


Pet experts say that cats and dogs like to keep warm during winter. When they are outside, they usually go to the nearest source of heat, which is your car. Before you get in and start your car, make sure to check your tires, your engine, and the space under your vehicle. Your pet may be sleeping there because it’s warm. If you cannot see your pet there, honk your horn or bang your car surfaces to wake your pet up. That way, your pet can get away from your car before you start the engine. Practice this habit to prevent your pet from getting injured from any moving parts of your vehicle.
 

Know Your Pet’s Limitations


Some pets are more sensitive to cold than others. Puppies, kittens, and senior pets are more vulnerable to drops in temperatures. The same goes for thin or short-coated pets. Although your pets enjoy being outside, you should shorten their outdoor playtime. When they do step out, make sure you make them wear coats, sweaters, and even thick snowshoes. Always remember that if you cannot take the cold, the same goes for your pet.
 

Use a Leash


Experts say that many pets get lost during winter. The snow tends to cover the scents they know that will lead them home. Because of this, you should always keep your pets on a leash. Also, have your pet microchipped in case your pet gets loose accidentally.
 

Wear Reflectorized Gear


Walking your pet at dusk can be dangerous, especially if you live in a busy area. To avoid accidents, make sure you place reflectorized collars, harnesses, or leashes on your pet.
 

Always Keep Their Paws Clean


Various substances, such as de-icers, salt, and antifreeze, tend to stick to your pet’s paws. Your pet may try to lick them off, causing your pet to be sick. If your pet doesn’t like to wear winter booties, always be sure to clean your pet’s paws when you get home after your walk. As you clean your pet’s paws, also check for any injuries like bleeding, cracking, or cuts.
 

Leave Your Pet at Home


Extreme cold weathers make your car too cold for your pet. If you know that you’re going to a store or run several errands, leave your pet in your warm home. That way, you can accomplish a lot while keeping your pet secure and safe.
 

Winter months can be too much for your pet. Here at 4Paws Veterinary Hospital, we always remind our patients to keep their pets warm, dry, and safe. You can visit our clinic in Duffield, Virginia, for an in-person meeting. Please call us at 276-431-4838. That way, we can help schedule your appointment or answer your questions about our winter pet safety information.

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Dr. Cortney Jessee