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Winter Weather Pet Safety – How to keep your pets safe this winter.

 

It’s getting cold out there.  Here are some tips on how to keep your pets safe from winter dangers.

Brrr! It’s getting chilly out there! Are your pets ready for winter?

We love our furry kids, and want to keep them safe from harm.  Dogs, cats and other furry family members require a little extra care and attention during the winter months.

How to Keep pets Safe in winter months

We love our pets and want to keep them safe when the weather turns harsh.

While snuggling up and providing extra warm bedding for our pets are comforts that make them feel loved, Winter can be harsh for our fur-kids. Especially so for small animals and smooth-coated dog and cat breeds. A few special considerations can go a long way to preventing our pets from experiencing most winter-time pet injuries.

At Around Town Hound Pet Care we urge pet parents to consider the following preventative care to maximize the health and safety of their pets this winter:

Keep your pets indoors and/or limit their exposure on really cold days. Younger and older pets and short-hair breeds are more vulnerable to cold weather and should not be left outside for long periods of time.

Utilize appropriately designed and fitted sweaters and/or coats for pets that need them. Short-hair breeds and fine-hair breeds like Dachshund, Doberman, whippet, greyhound, Italian greyhound, Jack Russell Terrier, Yorkies, Chihuahua, and toy breed dogs are especially vulnerable to the cold.

Dogs like Rees with short, fine fur need a little help to keep warm.

Check out our favorite pet sweaters and jackets. Gold Paw stretch fleece sweaters and Gooby Trekking Jackets are well-made quality pet outdoor gear. Layer them up for extra warmth on really cold days!

Provide weather-proof shelter for any pets that are left outside. All pets, including small caged pets, need a warm place to sleep and shelter from wind and drafts. Add a thick layer of straw to pet shelters for additional insulation from the cold and provide a snug, warm bed that does not sit directly on the ground. Reinforce dog shelters and dog houses and make them wind-proof. Assemble a few shelters for your outdoor cats. They are cheap and easy to make.

Here’s a helpful video on how to make a cat shelter: DIY Cat Shelter

Pets who spend time outdoors will require more calories to keep warm.  Leave out extra food and water for them.  Plastic food and water bowls are best for outdoor feeding in the wintertime.

Look out for the signs and symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia: Uncontrollable shivering, Decreased heart & breathing rate, Lethargy or uncoordinated movements, Tongue & gums bluish, localized cold burns on paws, ears, and other exposed skin. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet is suffering from any of these conditions.

Trim the long hair on the bottom of your dog’s feet. This will prevent the build up of ice balls, which can be painful and difficult to remove.

Winter dog walk safety

Trim your pet’s nails regularly. Pets may have a difficult time trying to maintain traction in icy conditions with long nails. Slips and falls on ice can result in injury to knee, hip and shoulder joints.

Rinse your pet’s paws in warm water when they come indoors. Ice-melt chemicals -even pet-friendly varieties – and salt can irritate and burn paw pads. These chemicals are also toxic if ingested when a pet licks their paws. Use a mug or cup full of warm water to dunk and rinse each paw as your pets come indoors. Thoroughly wipe off and dry your pet’s paws after dunking.

Antifreeze and household chemicals containing ethylene glycol are extremely toxic to pets. Antifreeze poisoning can kill a dog or cat within 24 hours.   Use products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol, and utilize proper storage and handling of these products.

Cat Safety in WinterBefore starting up the car on cold mornings, bang on your car hood. Outdoor and feral cats seek shelter and warmth on car engines in cold months. Banging on the car hood will alert them and can prevent injuries or death.

Seek training in Pet First Aid & CPR skills. Be prepared for emergencies when your pets need you most. We recommend PetTech Pet First Aid & CPR Trainings. Visit pettech.net to find a class or instructor near you.

We hope you enjoy a safe, warm and cozy winter with your pets.

For more information about Around Town Hound Pet Care services and our Pet Tech Pet First Aid & CPR Training Classes visit www.aroundtownhound.com or call us anytime at (828) 216-0161.

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