Winter weather is on the way. Is your pet prepared for the winter? When the mercury drops, keep your pet’s safety in mind—follow these cold-weather care tips from a Crown Point, IN veterinary professional.
Bring Pets Indoors
Never leave pets outside for extended periods of time when the temperatures drop. It’s only making your pet uncomfortable, and you’re putting them at risk for hypothermia and frostbite once it gets extremely cold! Keep outdoor sessions to a maximum of 10 or 15 minutes—just enough for a walk, bathroom break, or play session in the yard. From there, bring your pet back indoors where they’ll be warm and happy.
Beware of Wintertime Hazards
Antifreeze is often added to car engines during the winter months to keep them running smoothly. Did you know that antifreeze is one of the most common and deadly pet poisons out there? It even tends to attract pets thanks to its sweet smell and taste! Keep pets indoors while using antifreeze, and clean up any spills immediately. Store antifreeze carefully where pets can’t reach.
Dress it Up
Have you considered having your pet don a warm garment to keep them comfortable during wintertime walks? Parkas and coats help many pets—particularly those with thin coats of fur—to stay warm. There are also booties and ear muffs for pets who will accept wearing them!
Not only can pets slip and fall on ice patches just like we can, perhaps straining a muscle or hyperextending a leg, ice often contains road salt or chemical ice-melting agents. You don’t want your animal companion tracking these substances back indoors on the paws and licking them off later. Do your best to have your pet avoid icy patches altogether while trekking outdoors.
Make sure your pet’s bed isn’t placed near a door or window during the winter months, as the cool drafts near these areas can bother your pet overnight. Instead, place your pet’s bed in a warm, comfortable area and provide a soft blanket for extra snuggles.
Whenever your pet comes back indoors from the outside during winter, wipe them down thoroughly with a large, soft towel. This is a good way to get any snow, ice chips, or grime out of the coat and remove antifreeze, ice-melt, or road salt from the paws.
Ask your Crown Point, IN veterinarian for more tips.