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December 7, 2013

Keep pets safe in cold, snowy season

Keeping your pets warm and safe is an important part of your winter weather routine. Take a look at these 10 points to help make your pets’ snowy season happy and healthy.

1) Though many cat owners keep their felines indoors year-round, cold temperatures keep dogs and indoor/outdoor cats inside for longer periods of time. With heaters, furnaces and stoves keeping things cozy many pet owners overlook that this can cause some dehydration issues. Make sure that water bowls are kept full at all times and watch for signs of itchy dry skin.

2) Dogs and their people need to get outdoors for exercise and routine walks, but colder temperatures can cause frostbite and hypothermia. Consider shorter but more frequent walks to get the same exercise without harm. For dogs that like to spend more time outside, pay special attention to chill factors in addition to temperatures. Supply your pets with a shelter that allows them to get out of snow, sleet, wind and rain. Make a thick insulated bed that is raised off the ground by a few inches in the shelter and be sure to include a dish that will not allow water to freeze.

3) There are so many different types of ice-melting products being sprinkled on sidewalks and roads and some may cause injuries to the sensitive foot pads of our four-legged friends. Use a warm, wet washcloth to wipe your dogs’ feet when coming indoors after a neighborhood walk. Disposable aloe wipes are another great option to clean off salty feet. If you notice excessive foot licking or any limping, look closely at the foot pads, as ice or cinders may have caused a cut.

4) Growing rapidly in popularity, outdoor dog clothing now offers readily available selections that are not just for fashion. Donning a sweater or jacket in cold weather is a great idea especially for small breeds, puppies, older dogs and short-haired dogs. The misconception that dogs and cats do not get cold because they have a fur coat has been disproved for years.

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