Cold Weather Tips from Dr. Klint Hockenberry

10NVC03_0026-200x300Let’s face it, winter is tough for pets. Environmental hazards and changes in routine are the norm. Follow these helpful guidelines to keep your pet safe during the winter.

Cats should be kept indoors. Beware that many cats who are stuck in the cold prefer to sleep near a warm engine. Honk your horn before starting!

Dogs should be kept indoors. For these temperatures, an outside dog should have a house less than three times their size and cedar bedding. Be sure water bowls are checked for ice and replenished. Nutrition requirements increase by about one-third for outside dogs. To avoid all this hassle, bring them inside!

Ice melting salts can be hazardous for dogs. For starters, be sure to pick-up a pet-friendly version. Also, you will want to clean your dog’s paws. Clumps of ice left between the paws can lead to frostbite. If your dog has a long coat be sure to remove the ice clumps from there too! Salt residues can lead to irritated skin and pads. Be sure to monitor any foot licking or chewing. Examine their feet and between the toes regularly. Your dog’s toe nails may need clipped more often in the winter time because they do not wear as much on snowy surfaces. Join the Neffsville Nails and Tails club and let our inpatient nurses do it.

Avoid icy surfaces and frozen ponds. Your pet may slip, get a lacerated paw pad or worse yet, break through!

With the plunging winter temperatures it is best to shorten your dog’s walks. The temperature a dog can tolerate varies by breed and size. Consult your Neffsville veterinarian.

More people use antifreeze in the winter season. Antifreeze tastes sweet and is deadly! Remember to clean up and store it away from a dog’s reach.

Hopefully this helps you and your pet have a safer winter. Good luck!

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