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Winter and Your Pets

There are many hazards during the winter months that families are unaware of. From snow to puddles and paws here is a list of things to watch out for and tips to keep everyone happy!

1. Bodies of water
While your pets are out and about wandering, make yourself aware of the lakes and ponds near you. With the ice melting it doesn’t take much for your pup to walk out onto the ice and break through! Rising waters can also be very dangerous!

2. To bath or not to bath?
As much as you love to groom your dogs in the winter to have them all cleaned up and looking beautiful for Santa photos, it isn’t always in their best interest. Bathing can remove essential oils that keep their
skin from becoming dry and flaky. With the dry air, there is an increased chance of your pet getting itchy. If you need to bathe your pet, please consult with your veterinarian on recommended moisturizing
shampoos and conditioners.

3. Woof Woof, Meow Meow
We always think about dogs and what hazards winter has in store for them, but don’t forget about the cats! Please keep in mind outdoor cats seek shelter during cold winter spells, and sometimes that shelter can be your vehicle! Try to remember to tap the hood of your car and tires before starting our vehicle. You might be surprised to find a cat searching for warmth from an engine. Ensure your pets have a warm place to sleep indoors as well. A comfy bed or blanket is always ideal to keep away from
any cool floors or drafts.

4. Puddles and Paws
As silly as it may sound, during the winter season, the puddles that your pup is splashing in can be incredibly dangerous for many reasons! Those puddles may contain antifreeze which is toxic and fatal if ingested. The chemicals that can be found in puddles can also cause cracked paws, irritation and redness between the toes. Salt in the melted snow can irritate and burn paws and the underside as well.

5. Dress for the weather
Keeping your pet warm during the winter doesn’t have to be difficult. A warm sweater and a pair of booties can go a long way during outdoor adventures! Being in the thick snow, a set of boots to prevent their paws from becoming wet can keep your pet warm and happy. You can also bring a towel on walks to dry off wet paws. If that doesn’t do the trick and booties are not the way to go for you, you can also massage a bit of pet-safe wax on the paw pads before going out. Keeping the paw pads trimmed short can also help prevent snow and salt from getting stuck in between their toes.

Written by: College Manor Veterinary Hospital

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