WINTER CARE FOR YOUR PETS<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
Now that the weather is changing and winter is near we would like to offer some tips on cold weather care of your pets. Just as we are more cautious about dressing appropriately for cold weather and heating our homes, so must we be sensitive to our pets’ needs as the seasons change.
· If the temperature is below freezing your pets need to be indoors. If they must stay outside they will need an insulated cat or doghouse with a floor that is raised off of the ground, with a warm blanket or pillow to sleep on.
· Remember to make certain your pets have water that is not frozen in wintertime. It is important that they are able to drink and that their water is not icy or overly cold.
· Keep your cat inside. Outdoor cats can freeze, become lost or be stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
· During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can become injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.
· Do not let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and become lost. Make sure your dog always wears I.D. tags.
· Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, anit-freeze or other chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may bleed from encrusted snow or ice.
· Own a shorthaired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar with coverage from the base of the tail to underneath the belly. For many dogs this is regulation winter wear.
· Never leave your pet alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death.
· If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outside only to relieve himself.
· Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper train him inside.
· Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him, and his fur, in tip top shape.
· Like coolant, anti-freeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Thoroughly clean up any spill from your vehicle, and consider using less toxic propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
· Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.
· Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy cat or dog bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
We at Salazar Road Veterinary Clinic wish you a cozy winter and hope that if you have questions or concerns about your pets you will not hesitate to contact us, either by email on our website at www.salazarroadvetclinic.com, or by calling the office.