Winter Pet Care Tips
Heartworm Disease: This mosquito-transmitted disease can be fatal to your dog. In areas that have year round mosquito problems, it is recommended that dogs be kept on heartworm prevention throughout the year. After having your dog tested for heartworms by your veterinarian, ask about heartworm prevention, available in a chewable and pill form.
Housing: Be sure to provide proper shelter for your pets. If yours is an indoor pet, his bed or crate should be kept in a warm, draft-free area, preferably elevated slightly off the floor. If your pet is kept outdoors, provide a warm insulated pet house or shelter. The house should be elevated enough so that moisture cannot accumulate inside. If possible, provide a door (canvas) to keep out winter winds. If the wind chill or other weather conditions become severe, bring your pet indoors.
Frostbite: Remove ice and snow form your pet’s paws and coat at once. Frostbite skin may turn reddish, white or grey, and it may be scaly or sloughing. If you suspect frostbite, take your pet to a warm place immediately. Thaw out frostbitten areas slowly by applying warm, moist towels that are changed frequently. Continue until the affected areas become flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible, he/she will want to evaluate the seriousness of the condition.
Snow removal salt: Some substances produced to melt ice and snow have a low to moderate toxicity, depending on the ingredients and amount ingested. Read all labels and take necessary precautions. Keep these products stored in tight containers out of your pet’s reach and remove salt from your pets paws immediately.
Antifreeze: Even a very small amount of antifreeze can be fatal. Precautions are necessary with all antifreeze products on the market. Read labels and warning carefully. Thoroughly clean up spills at once. Keep containers closed tightly and store them where your pets cannot reach them.
Napping cats: Cats sometimes climb onto vehicle engines for warmth. Before starting your vehicle knock on the hood and honk the horn. Even if your own cat does not have access to your vehicle, a neighbor’s cat or stray may take shelter there.
Food: Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
Water: Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet. If your pet is kept outdoors, be sure to check the water frequently since it may freeze.