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January 2015: Cold Weather Care for Pets

Cold weather, just like warm weather, can pose serious threats to our pet’s health.  We often forget that our fur-covered friends need to be sheltered from winter’s nasty weather just as much as we do.  This month at CanadaVet we take at look at ways to make sure our four legged friends are warm and well cared for when the mercury dips.

 

Put another log on the fire?

A crackling fire in the fireplace or the soothing warmth emanating from a heater is just as attractive to your dog as it is to you.  It provides a wonderful resting place when the temperature drops however can also be quite a dangerous spot if your pets are left unattended.  If you must leave your dog in the room by themselves make sure to place a secure screen in front of the fire; to prevent any accidently tail or paw burns.

Not all snowballs are fun!

Check your pet’s paws frequently if you spend time outside playing in the snow.  To prevent snowballs forming, regularly trim the hair on your dog’s feet and between their toes.  Snowballs can also build up on a dog’s ears, tail and belly.  They can easily be removed with warm water and a cloth.  Also if your dog walks on salty sidewalks be sure to rinse the salt off the bottom of his feet when you get home.

Hold the ice please.

Regularly check your dog’s water bowl to ensure it hasn’t frozen.  You dog needs cool water to drink, not ice.  If you have an outdoor dog and are unable to check and change their water heated water bowls are a must.  These thermostat controlled bowls prevent your dog’s water from freezing in even the most frigid conditions.

Lost and found!

When snow covers the ground it’s much more difficult for dogs to pick up their familiar smells; which generally gives them their information on the world and where they are.  Ensure your dog has a well fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information as winter snow can hide recognisable scents that might normally help your dog find its way back home.

Car safety

Never leave your cat or dog alone in the car during cold weather.  Just like in summer when you car can act as an oven, in winter it can act like a refrigerator, holding in the cold air and causing your pets to freeze to death.

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