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Cold Weather Tips for Your Pet

January 1, 2014

As it gets colder and colder, we aren’t the only ones who need to adapt to the conditions—our pets need to stay safe in the chilly weather too. Here, a Pelham veterinarian discusses a few cold weather tips for our companion animals.

Limit Outdoor Time

The easiest way to keep your pet safe and warm this winter is to limit the time they spend outside. By all means, let them go out and romp in the snow, but bring them in after a few minutes. This will help avoid any possible occurrence of frostbite or hypothermia. Also monitor them while they’re outside to make sure they don’t slip on any ice or fall into a deep snowbank that they can’t get out of.

Wipe and Dry

When your pet comes back inside, wipe them off with a large, soft towel. This will help to dry them off, removing any excess snow or ice in the coat. It will also remove any harmful chemicals from their paws—de-icer chemicals and deadly antifreeze may be on their paws, which they could ingest should they lick them.

Dress Pet Up

Pets can dress for the elements, too! There are now a wide variety of cat and dog clothes made to protect our companions from the winter elements. These are available at your local pet supply shop—try different sweaters, coats, and parkas to keep your pet’s body warm. There are even pet boots that will keep the paws and paw pads safe. Ask your Pelham veterinarian for a recommendation.

Check the Car

In the winter, cats often like to hide under cars or up in the engine compartment to stay warm. If they’re still in there when the car starts, they could be seriously injured or killed. Give your hood a few sharp raps before you start your car in the winter. This will give any hiding felines a chance to escape.