Tuesday, January 6, 2015

With cold weather here and continuing, we ask you to bring your pets inside and exercise the utmost caution when exposing them to the cold.

As a general rule, if it is too cold for you then it is too cold for your pet.

Bring Your Pet Inside:  Do not leave your pet outside, i the cold for prolonged period of time.  Remember, thermometers might show one temperature, but the wind chills can make it feel much much colder.  Limit time out and be mindful of frostbite on ears, tail and paws.  If you run with your dog, pay attention to cold paws and if it gets too cold, leave your pup at home.  Cats should always be left indoors.  Outdoor cats are often victims of road traffic, wild animals, dog and cruel people and freezing or starving to death in severely cold weather.

Acclimate Your Pet To Cold Weather:  If your pet spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to introduce him or her gradually to dropping temperatures, rather than exposing them to the extreme cold all at once.

Provide Adequate Shelter:  Adequate shelter is mandate by law.  If your dog lives outdoors, you must provide a well insulated and draft free doghouse.  The opening should face south with a sturdy flexible covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Line the floor of the shelter with straw not hay.  Towels and blankets can become damp or freeze making the space colder.

Beware Of Antifreeze And Rock Salt:  Antifreeze often collects  on driveways and roadways.  Although it smells and tastes sweet to your pet it is lethally poisonous.  If you suspect that your pet has ingested this contact your veterinarian immediately!  Deicing products  like rock salt can irritate foot pads.
Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside.

Dry Off Wet Pets:  A wet pet is a cold pet.  Towel or blow dry your pet if they get wet from rain or snow. Also it is important to clean and dry paws to prevent tiny cuts and cracked pads.

Provide Plenty Of Food And Water:  It takes more energy in the winter to properly regulate body temperature so your pet may need additional calories if he or she spends  a lot of time playing or working outdoors.  Your pet is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, so be sure to provide plenty of fresh water.  Snow is not a substitute for water.  Refill outside bowls often to prevent freezing.

Carefully Keep Pets Warm Inside:  Keep your pets warm, dry and away from drafts while inside.  Space heaters and other supplemental heat sources can burn your pet.  Keep portable heaters out of reach and make sure all fireplaces have adequate screening. and of course never leave your pet alone with an unattended fire.

Groom Regularly:  Your pet needs a well groomed coat to keep him or her properly insulated/ short or coarse haired dogs might get extra cols do consider a sweater or coat.  Long haired dogs should have their paw hair trimmed o ease in cleaning and snow removal.

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