Cold Weather Care for Your Pet

When the temperature falls below freezing, your pets need extra care.  The following list provides you with some things to keep in mind during the cold winter season.

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Frostbite
Even with a coat of fur, your pets can still feel the cold, and can even get frostbite! Cats and small dogs should be kept indoors during freezing weather. Your pets will still need exercise, and walks are important, but shorten your walks this time of year.  If your pet has a short coat, they may appreciate a warm sweater, jacket, or even a hat!

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Rock Salt and De-icers
Ice melting products will irritate a pet’s paws. Thoroughly wipe off your pet’s paws when they come into the house to prevent them from accidentally ingesting dangerous chemicals when they lick their paws. Before going onto sidewalks that may have these products on them, you may want to rub baby oil on the pads of the paws and sprinkle baby powder on them. This will help protect your pet’s paws from becoming sore.  Click here to shop for pet-friendly de-icing products.

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Diet
Your pet’s metabolism will change during the cold winter months and demands different eating patterns. If your pet enjoys spending time outdoors, it will need more calories to help it produce body heat to keep itself warm. If your pet spends more time indoors during the winter, it may need fewer calories because of its more relaxed lifestyle.

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Beware of cats under your car!
During cold weather, cats may seek warm shelter under your car. They like to crawl up by the engine where it is warm. Before starting your car, make sure there are not any cats under your engine by lifting the hood of your car, honking your horn, or slapping the hood hard enough to frighten a cat out. If you start the car with a cat under the engine, it could get caught in the fan and become seriously injured.

Away from drafts
Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.  Or you could always invite your pet into your bed–they make great bed warmers!

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