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Posted on 03-16-2016

January 27, 2016

As the weather cools off, here are some tips to keep your pets safe in the cold!

  • Pay attention to the feet! The snow/ice can be very abrasive, and often just a short walk can cause paw pad injuries.  There may also be high concentrations of salt or other ice-melting chemical on the ground, so wiping and checking the pads each time they come inside is safest.  If you are taking a large number of walks/hikes, investing in some booties may be the best option.
  • This dry cold air can cause dry skin and itchiness. A lot of times we need to decrease the frequency that we bathe them to prevent over-drying.  If you do need to bathe, use a hydrating shampoo and cool to lukewarm water (hot water dries them out worse).  Sometimes supplementing fish oils can help with the dryness (contact Dr. Krakowski, Dr. Bailey, or Dr. Craddock to discuss dosing).
  • Your pet may actually need to eat MORE during the winter. They burn extra calories trying to stay warm.  I they spend any time outdoors you should adjust your kibble amounts slightly.
  • Dogs are often more cold tolerant than us, but if it is too cold for you, it could be too cold for your pet. Avoid shave-downs and short cuts during the winter time, as a longer coat can provide needed insulation.  You may also need insulated jackets/boots to keep them comfortable for extended periods outside.
  • Keep them cozy indoors as well! Avoid drafts and provide bedding to allow them to choose the proper temperature.

If you have any questions about your pet’s outdoor time this winter call Chatham Animal Hospital!

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