This month on Just Ask A Veterinarian, we are talking about Winter Weather & Our Pets. Dr. Susan Malone and I did our live video on February 14th and shared some tips for caring for both dogs and cats this winter.
This post is sponsored by Maritime Animal Hospital.
Be Prepared When Weather Is Forcast
Being prepared before and during a storm for your pets is similar to being prepared for the humans in your home. Be sure to have enough food on hand and have any medications filled, so they do not run out.
Walking Your Dog In The Winter
Be visible - when it is snowing and sidewalks are covered, be careful walking on roadways. They are slippery and between you, your dog and vehicles, accidents can happen quickly.
Protect their paws with boots or paw wax. The cold can be harsh on your dog's feet. Dog boots will keep feet dry and warm. If not using boots, apply a paw balm to protect from salt, and be sure to wipe off or rinse off feet upon return home.
Use coats to keep your pet warm and dry, especially short hair and smaller breeds.
Playtime In Deep Snow
When playing in deep snow, there are many opportunities for injury, with layers of snow that can be deep, crusted over with ice and slippery, sprains, ripped dew claws and cuts can happen.
Try to find a safe place to play, like a groomed trail for walking on a leash or a fenced dog park where snow is more likely to be packed down.
Letting Your Cat Outside
Cats have a tendency to know not to go out in a blizzard, but if they are outside when the snow starts, they may seek shelter and hide in places that are hard to find. If you let your cat outside, be sure to have them back in before snow or very cold temperatures. They can get frostbite quickly.
Also, check your vehicle, tap the hood or kick the front bumper before you start your vehicle in the winter, in case a cat has climbed up inside for shelter or warmth.
Antifreeze is toxic to our pets and tastes sweet, so it will attract them. Be sure to pour water on any spills and keep containers away from your pets and children.
If you are looking for more tips and ideas, check out this blog post on Travelling in the Winter With Your Dog.