Winterize Your Pet

powderhoundJust as humans can get frostbite or hypothermia – so can pets! With the weather so cold it is important to realize how this affects your pets. Here are a few good tips to remember whether your pet is staying home or traveling. It is important to check your dog or cats’ skin and conditioning. In some cases, you may want to supply extra paw protection with booties. Make sure to brush your pet’s coat regularly, inspect pet paws, and nails for breakage or cracks due to snow or ice.

Frostbite is commonly found on toes, tail, ears, and the other areas not covered by fur. Signs of frostbite include very pale or white skin or areas that are swollen or red. If you suspect frostbite it is best to check with your vet immediately. Immerse the area for 15-20 minutes into warm water to help treat the affected area.

Hypothermia occurs after prolonged exposure to harsh elements and temperatures. Symptoms include low body temperature, shivering, balance problems, and fatigue. It is critical to immediately raise the pet’s body temperature with warm blankets and warm liquids. Call your veterinarian.

Overall, it is a good idea to use protective gear for your pet’s when out in the elements, increase caloric intake if pet is active outside, keep nails trimmed, and use heated water bowls for outdoor pets. If a pet is kept outside make sure to monitor the temperatures and bring your pet in when necessary. It is a good idea to provide a warm and insulated bed to protect your pet from the ground.