January 28

Finding the Right Dog for You

cold weather, pet safety, pets, pets in winter, winter

Brrr..It’s Cold Outside! There are some things we need to think about to protect our pets in winter.

Whether we like it or not, that cold weather, see your breath the minute you walk outside cold, is here. If you’ve lived in cold weather for any amount of time, you know what to expect and what to prepare for; but do you know how to keep your pets warm in winter?

Here are 5 tips to protect your pets in winter:


1.  STAY ON TOP OF PREVENTATIVE CARE & WELLNESS EXAMS

  • Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and now is a good time to schedule your pet for an exam to make sure he/she is ready and healthy for the cold weather. 

2.  KNOW OUTDOOR DANGERS

  • Temperature. Is it too cold for you outside? If it’s too cold for you, it is probably too cold for them. Just like people, pets' cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet's tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog's walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances may have a harder time regulating their body temperature. If you need help determining your pet's temperature limits, contact your veterinarian. You may also want to consider getting a sweater/coat or booties for your dog to help with the cold.Check out these best winter coats for dogs from 2021. Top 10 Best Dog Winter Coats For 2021 (thedogoutdoors.com)
  • Injuries: Check your dog's paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage (cracked paw pads, bleeding or ice accumulation between the toes). Wipe down (or wash) your pet’s paws when back inside to remove any toxic chemicals picked up on their feet during the walk (i.e. deicers, antifreeze).
  • Ice. When walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water.
  • Getting Lost. Many pets become lost in winter. Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. A microchip is a more permanent means of identification, but remember to keep the registration up to date.

  • Hypothermia/frostbite. If your pet is whining, shivering, slows down, stops moving, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, consult your veterinarian immediately.

3.  KNOW INDOOR DANGERS

  • Make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Use space heaters with caution around pets due to the risk of fire and/or burns. Check your furnace before the cold weather sets in to make sure it's working efficiently, and install carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Make sure your pets don't have access to medication bottles, household chemicals, or potentially toxic foods such as onions, xylitol, and chocolate.

4.  LIMIT CAR TRAVEL

  • Cold cars also pose significant risk to your pet's health. A car can rapidly cool down in cold weather. Limit car travel to only that which is necessary, and don't leave your pet unattended in the vehicle.

5.  BE PREPARED

  •  Cold weather brings the risks of severe winter weather, blizzards and power outages. Prepare a disaster/emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans. Have enough food, water and medicine (including any prescription medications as well as heart worm and flea/tick preventives) on hand to get through at least 5 days. Your pets are your family. Just like you prepare your human family for the winter, prepare your pets too to stay warm in the winter. As always, if you have questions, we at GBAAH are just a phone call away.

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