Winter is a season notorious for its bitter cold, harsh winds and constant wetness. For many people, it’s easier to cozy up by the fire instead of adventuring out into the snow. While humans can bundle up and stay indoors, dogs still have to brave the cold and go outside for walks and to go to the bathroom. Luckily, there are a few simple steps you can take to ensure your furry friends stay both safe and warm this winter:
- Keep them inside: Just because your pet is covered in fur doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to the cold. Cats and dogs should always be kept inside during the cold weather because they could get frostbite or hypothermia from spending an extended period of time in freezing temperatures. While it’s okay to still take them on their evening walk, avoid leaving them out in below-freezing weather for too long.
- Wellness exam: One of the easiest ways to determine which precautions to take during the winter months is to consult a veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. This is a wonderful time of year for a professional to thoroughly examine your pet to make sure they are healthy enough to withstand the cold winter weather. After the exam, they’ll be able to provide any necessary recommendations.
- Inspect their paws: Check your pets’ paws for any signs of damage or injury from the cold weather. This may include dry, cracked paw pads or any bleeding. Trim the hair between your dog’s toes to keep ice from accumulating.
- Feeding: Bulking up for winter by eating lots of food won’t provide your pet with any added warmth. It’s important to keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the year, as overfeeding can result in an abundance of future health problems. Talk to your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ about developing a winter feeding plan.
- Avoid dangerous chemicals: Antifreeze should be kept in a safe location that your dog or cat is unable to access. If consumed, antifreeze is extremely toxic and can even cause kidney failure in dogs. Take your furry friend to an emergency vet immediately if you suspect they ingested antifreeze.
- Bundle up: Not all dogs are built for winter environments. Wrap up shorthaired dogs in a sweater or jacket to avoid frostbite or hypothermia when heading out for your morning walk. Booties are another great option to avoid hurting their paw pads.
- Remove salts: Rock salt and other chemicals are a great way to avoid dangerous falls on ice. Unfortunately, they’re also incredibly dangerous when consumed. Wipe your dog’s paws after a walk to keep them from ingesting bits of rock salt while they clean their toes. Make sure to store any salt in a safe place well out of reach. Contact your veterinarian in Egg Harbor Township, NJ if your dog ingests any rock salt.
Any questions? Contact the trusted staff at Newkirk Family Veterinarians for help. Our professional team has been providing quality veterinary care for more than 35 years. We’re always on hand to help your pet live a long and healthy life!