As the mercury starts to dip, we’ve put together some helpful tips on keeping your companion pets safe and warm this winter.
While your cat may look longingly at the door the safest place for him is inside. Cats that are allowed to stray can become lost, freeze, be hit by a car, and are far more likely to be exposed to infectious feline disease. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If you are concerned that there are outdoor cats in your area, loudly bang on the hood of your car prior to starting the engine. This should give any sleepy cats a chance to escape.
Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours always wears ID tags.
Chemicals used to melt ice in the winter can be very dangerous to your dog. Make sure you wipe down their legs, paws and belly after they have been out in the snow and ice. Some of the ice melting chemicals and antifreeze can be poisonous if ingested, so make sure to clean your dog off thoroughly.
It’s important to keep your dog warm during the winter months. Longer haired dogs should avoid being shaved down in the winter as their coat helps provide warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this fashion statement is regulation winter wear.
Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
Make sure that all of your pets are micro-chipped and that their microchip registration is kept up to date. Found animals are brought into the hospital regularly, an up to date microchip registration helps facilitate a fast reunion with their owners.