Winter Pet Health Tips

As the weather cools down this winter, protect your furry family members with these winter pet health tips!

1. Monitor your pet's weight throughout the winter. Your pet may be sleeping more and exercising less than usual, so you may need to cut back on portions.

2. Even if long walks aren't possible in the freezing cold weather, try to keep your dog exercising! Playing fetch, tugging on a toy, and using interactive games are a great way to keep them active during the cold months.

3. If your dog has long hair that requires grooming, don't shave them! Keep their coat longer in the winter to provide warmth.

4. Dogs with thin coats and low body fat will benefit from a sweater or coat for trips outside.

5. Winter salt on used on sidewalks is mildly toxic and can irritate skin and paws, so after trips outside, rinse or wipe your dog's paws to remove any salt. If your dog has long hair, consider trimming the hair between paw pads to prevent snow and ice clumping there.

6. If your dog shows signs of discomfort when walking outside on frozen or salted surfaces, consider using dog booties to protect the paws.

7. Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals. Wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately and keep it, like all household chemicals, out of reach.

8. Just like you would never leave an animal in the car in the dead of summer, never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold.

9. Make sure your dog or cat has a warm place to sleep far away from all drafts and off the floor, such as in a dog or cat bed or basket with a warm blanket or pillow in it.

10. To prevent your furry family members from accidentally burning themselves, avoid using space heaters and make sure burning candles are not in reach.

11. Outdoor cats may hide out under the hood of your car for warmth and shelter from the cold weather. Before you get in the car and start your engine, give the hood a few taps just in case anyone is hiding under there.