Cold Weather Pet Safety Tips

Some of the coldest weather in a year is here. With hat, boots, gloves, jacket, sweater, scarf, and hand warmers ready to go, the 10 second treck from the car to the house at the end of the day feel like an entire mile, but you’re ready for it

Meteorologist Sam Kantrow “But you’re inside the house now, nice and warm, ready to turn in for the night, until…”

You forgot about Sparky. He’s been inside all day…he needs to go to the bathroom…and he needs to walk around the block, but can they get frostbitten?

Kelly S. Shanley “Logically any exposed skin, any species that has exposed skin potentially can get frostbite.”

But you can’t leave your pet inside all winter, so what do you do?

If you have an indoor cat, be especially careful to keep your cat inside this time of the year. Ones that go inside and outside should be kept inside. So what about dogs…they need to get outside and be walked, so how can you help protect them when the windchill gets to -30?

Kelly S. Shanley, DVM “I recommend a longer coat during the winter and a shorter coat during the summer because obviously they’re not going to be able to regulate their temperatures as well and this gives them a little more buffering.”

How about the ugly dog shoes and the uncomfortable dog costumes for your tiny pup?

Kelly S. Shanley, DVM “I jokingly say the uglier the sweater the better, but the warmer the better for those breeds, and as far as the boots…the paw covers, for those dogs that have very soft pads, they haven’t been conditioned. They don’t have a lot of callice and a lot of protection on their feet so the boots are helpful.”

Meteorologist Sam Kantrow “If you have an outside dog, make sure to fill their doggy house with straw and NOT blankets. Straw will insulate the dog and keep them off the ground, whereas blankets will pull heat away from the dog, and make him or her even more cold. Straw can be purchased even in the coldest months at most home improvement stores or even at farms.”

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