The temperature is dropping. By taking a few simple precautions, you can help your pets have a safe and healthy winter.
(None of these suggestions are intended to replace professional vet care. In the event of an emergency, get your animal companion to a vet ASAP!)
Keep your cat inside during the cold months...period.
If you have cats roaming in your neighborhood, make sure you bang loudly on the hood of your car before starting it since outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars when it is cold.
Toxins and Irritants
Thoroughly wipe your dog's legs, stomach and paws when he comes in out of the sleet or snow. Ingesting salt and other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws can cause illness, even death. His paw pads may have snow or ice crusted and can easily crack and bleed.
Antifreeze is a LETHAL POISON to dogs and cats! Make sure to completely clean up any leaks or spills and keep any bottles well out of your pet's reach.
Never shave your dogs down to the skin in the winter. Longer coats provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog, make sure he is completely dry before he goes outside.
If you have a short-haired breed or a dog that is particularly sensitive to the cold, consider getting a coat or sweater especially made for dogs.
Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be very difficult to housebreak in the winter.
If your dog is sensitive to the cold because of age, breed, or illness, DO NOT leave him outside for any length of time. Potty trips only!
Make sure your animal companion has a warm place to sleep during the winter months. Off the floor and away from drafts is essential. A dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
Outside is NEVER the best place, especially if the temperature is below freezing. If it is a night where you wouldn't want to sleep outside with a couple of blankets, it is not a night that your dog or cat should either.
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