Winter safety tips for your pet

Posted on: Friday, January 16th, 2015

Winter is finally here! Now is a great time to take your furry friend for a romp in the snow, or a fireside cuddle. Here are a few winter safety tips to keep and mind as we move into colder weather.

A good rule of thumb: If the weather is too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet. Keep cats inside to prevent freezing, frostbite, or injury. Make sure short-haired dogs wear proper winter gear when playing outside. We carry a variety of jackets, sweaters, and sweatshirts for all sizes!

Especially in a city environment, stray cats will often curl up in car engines to keep warm. Bang loudly on the car hood before starting your engine to prevent injury to these cats.

Ice melter and salt can be painful on your pup's paws. After a snow, put booties (such as Pawz brand) on your dog before going for a walk . If your dog won't tolerate booties, you may also use special paw protection wax such as Musher's Secret. Wipe your dog's feet, legs, and belly clean of any salt or snow once returning to your home. In addition, use only pet-safe ice melter on your property.

Check between your dog's toes for redness, cracking, or any other sign of irritation. This can be caused by road salt, or from repeatedly moving from cold to warm temperatures. Keep your home humidified, and if irritation is noticed, get a paw repair balm such as Halo Herbal Healing Salve or Opie & Dixie's Pawstik.

Give your pet a warm place to sleep such as a pet bed or couch. This area should be dry, heated, and draft-free. This will prevent your pet from finding warm, but possibly dangerous, areas to sleep. Make sure any space heaters or wood stoves aren't left unattended and that fireplaces are covered with a grate.

Like humans, animals are more susceptible to colds in the winter time. Don't medicate your pet without asking your vet first. Many over-the-counter medications such as Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Pepto-Bismol, Tylenol, and some decongestants are poisonous to animals.

Most importantly, enjoy the winter season cuddled up with your furry friend!

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