Yes, we are desperately awaiting the arrival of spring, but while we wait winter weather continues to brings it’s own set of challenges for our pets.  While our pets wear their own coats, each of them has varying tolerance for the weather.  Here are some tips to keep them safe for the remainder of the winter (which hopefully won’t be too much longer).

Tips to keep your pets safe in winter weather:

  1. If it’s cold out for you, it’s probably cold out for them.  Coats and sweaters are great for short haired dogs, this ensures they stay warm and dry.  Having a few around for them to wear in case one gets wet is a great idea.
  2. Check their paws!  Deicers and anti-freeze can be toxic for dogs, and you never know where it is.  Wiping their feet off after walks is important.  Make sure to get in between their toes and pads.  Ice can cause small abrasions to their pads as well.
  3. Pet proof your house! Seasonal plants, decorations, and treats are so tempting… and can all be hazardous.   Treats such as chocolate, macadamia nuts, any sweets containing xylitol, or raisins are toxic to dogs.  Keep them up and out of harms way.
  4. Keep pets indoors when at all possible.
  5. Stay off the ice!   Icy bodies of water can look tempting, but very dangerous.  Other than injuries caused by slipping on the ice, falling through the ice is an even bigger concern.  Just don’t do it!
  6. Make noise before getting into your car and starting it up.  Come wintertime cats (outdoor and feral) as well as other wildlife may use your car as a source of warmth.  Making noise may cause them to vacate your engine block, saving them from potential severe injuries.
  7. Watch out for signs of arthritis.  Cold weather will often agitate arthritis.  Arthritis can show up with stiffness, difficulty jumping, grumpiness, sleepiness or lameness.  An annual or semi-annual exam is recommended to make sure your furry friend is in tip-top shale and comfortable for the cold weather!
  8. If you must use anti-freeze, use PET FRIENDLY anti-freeze and other deicing products.  These products contain propylene glycol that is much less toxic then it’s counterpart.

Make sure to get out and enjoy the beautiful winter weather during the fleeting day light hours. It’s tempting to stay inside by the nice warm fire, but it’s important that your furry friends gets their exercise. So enjoy and keep your fur kids safe!


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