Brr...it's getting cold outside!! The temperature is dropping and winter is at our fingertips. Richview Animal Hospital wants to ensure that your pet is as comfortable as possible as winter approaches. The following guidelines will help you protect your pet as the temperature drops.
Do not leave your cat or dog outside during freezing temperatures. Frost bite and harsh temperatures are dangerous to your pet. Your pet requires an insulated shelter, away from wind and rain, and bedding to insulate them from the cold ground. The easiest solution, best for you and your pet, is to keep them in your home, cozy and with family. Outdoor pets can also become lost, stolen, injured, or killed.
Some outdoor cats even sleep under hoods of cars in search of warmth. When the motor is then started, these cats can be injured or killed. Bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting the engine to give any cat a chance to escape.
Do not let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. In this specific situation, your dog can lose their scent and become easily lost or disoriented. Most dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season. Make sure your dog is always wearing his/her ID tags and is microchipped. Only allow off leash in designated and properly fenced off leash-free dog parks.
Wipe your pet's legs, feet, and stomach everytime they come in from the outdoors. It is important to remove any of the sleet, snow, or ice that may have adhered to their coat. Salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals can be ingested while licking paws and paw pads. Paw pads can also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. You can protect your dog's feet from sleet, snow, ice and salt by using dog boots.
Do not leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. In low temperatures, your car will act like a refrigerator, causing your pet to freeze.
Beware of antifreeze! Its sweet taste is enticing to pets but is lethal when ingested, even in small quantities. Promptly clean any spills in your driveway and around your home.
Create a warm cozy spot at home for your pet to sleep (like a pet bed with a blanket). Ensure it is off the floor and away from drafts.
Do not shave your pet to the skin during cold weather. His/her longer hair will keep them warm. If you bathe your pet, dry them completely afterwards.
Keep your dog warm on winter walks. A dog coat or sweater will keep him/her warm and cozy. Don't forget to protect