Though we haven’t seen much snow yet this year, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind you of some precautions to take with your pets.
If it’s too cold outside for you, it’s likely too cold outside for your pet. Even those with thick, long coats. Though they may be more tolerant to cold they aren’t resistant.
Check your pet’s paws frequently for any signs of injury or damage. Cracked pads can be caused by the cold, dry weather and ice can cut exposed pads. Snow can pack between toes and cause pain or lameness.
Stay away from frozen ponds and lakes or other bodies of water. The ice may look thick enough but it may not support the weight of your pet. Falling through ice can be deadly and will put you at risk when trying instinctively to save your pet.
Make sure your pet maintains a healthy weight, even through winter. Increased weight can lead to other health risks. Pets spending more time outdoors will require more calories but precaution should be taken to prevent weight gain.
Provide shelter. If you have to keep your pet outside for long periods of time be sure they have shelter against wind, rain, and snow. The floor should be lifted off the ground and there should be thick, warm and dry bedding. Ensure access to fresh, unfrozen water.
Last but not least, watch your pet. If they are shivering, whining, showing a significant decrease in activity or are actively looking for a warm location, it is important to bring them inside as soon as possible as these could be signs of hypothermia.