Seasonal Pet Care Tip from Community Animal Hospital
Weathering Winter’s Chill
Pets may seem a bit more insulated than us with their fur coats, but not all coats are created equal! Cold-weather breeds like Huskies and Malamutes have thick, long-haired coats that keep them toasty warm, while short-haired breeds like Boxers and Bulldogs are much more sensitive to the cold. While keeping up their activity level with daily walks throughout winter is still important, you’ll need to take extra precautions against the cold. To help your pets stay toasty warm in the winter, we’ve come up with some cold weather pet safety tips!
Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips
- Be aware of your pet’s cold tolerance. Knowing the signs for a cold pet can help recognize when your walk has gone too far. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, lethargy, weakness, whining, digging as if to burrow, and anxiety. Bring your pet inside right away so they can warm back up!
- Protect their paws. With snow, ice, salt, and other chemical deicers, paws can suffer a lot of damage on a walk. Massage them with petroleum jelly before your outing, or buy them booties (if they’ll wear them!) for even more protection.
- Dress up, not down. If your pet seems uncomfortable in the colder weather, buy them a sweater or jacket that can help them insulate heat better and ward off the winter chill.
- Wipe them down. Paws, legs, and bellies will need a thorough wipe down after every walk to remove any accumulated salt and deicers which can cause skin irritation if left alone.
- Maintain a healthy weight. In the colder weather, some pets who are outdoors more often will need a bit of extra calories to help them maintain an optimal weight that generates enough heat to keep them warm. Talk to us about your pet’s nutritional needs!