Winter Tips for Dogs and Cats
Dogs and cats need time to acclimate to the colder weather. Keep them indoors as much as possible until they are physically ready to enjoy the winter weather.
If you have a shorthaired breed, a puppy, or a kitten, you may want to purchase a coat or sweater to cover their back and underside. Fleece is a great fabric for coats as it is strong, soft, and holds warmth well.
Cold snow and ice can be hard on paws. Wash and completely dry your pet's paws after they come indoors - especially if they have had contact with salt or chemical deicer. These can be poisonous to pets. Check their paws for cracks and bleeding, and call us if you notice any bleeding. Petroleum jelly is safe to protect paws, or dog boots are another good option.
Ethylene glycol antifreeze is very poisonous to pets, and its sweet taste is appealing to both cats and dogs. If your pet consumes antifreeze, it is an emergency and you should call us immediately. A better option is to use a pet friendly propylene glycol antifreeze.
If it's not too cold out for you, your dog can get some aerobic exercise outside that will also keep them warm. It it's too cold to go outside, exercise indoors with games of fetch or a playdate with another pet-friend.
In cold weather, pets will burn more calories to keep warm. If your pet exercises outdoors a lot, increase their food intake by a small amount. You should be able to feel, but not see, your pet's ribs.
Cars and Cats
In cold weather, outdoor cats may find the engine block under the warm hood of your car to be a great spot to snooze. Before you start your car, bang on the hood to wake up any sleeping cats.
Cars and Dogs
When it's very cold out, your car can act like a refrigerator as it holds in the cold. When in doubt, leave your pets at home when you know you'll have to leave them unattended in the car.
Pets get dry, flaky skin in the winter just like we do. Humidifiers, frequent brushing, and keeping plenty of drinking water available may help. Fish oil supplements to the diet also are helpful, and we can prescribe those to help with healthier skin.