Veterinarian Advice: Pets and Winter Weather

Winter brings cold temperatures, drizzle, and snow. Unfortunately, many pet owners do not think about how cold temperatures affects dogs and cats. To keep your pets warm and healthy this winter, follow these veterinarian tips.

Veterinarian Recommends Plenty of Food and Water During Winter Temperatures.

Cold temperatures can be deadly, but dehydration causes a drop in body temperature to occur much faster. Furthermore, pets require additional nutrients to keep their metabolism up during the winter, explains the Human Society.  

Provide Shelter While Pets Are Outdoors.

If your pets go outdoors to use the bathroom, your pets may spend more time outdoors than necessary. Being outside for short periods of time is not an excuse to not provide draft-free shelter for your pets. Make sure your pets have a place to get out of rain, snow, and the cold when going outside, regardless of the amount of time spent outdoors.

Bring Pets Indoors.

Unless your pets cannot be brought indoors, always bring pets indoors during cold temperatures. If nothing else, provide an additional source of heat for your pets, such as a heat lamp. However, the heat lamp should be positioned away from flammable materials, and your pets should be able to get out of the direct heat if need be.

Avoid Antifreeze.

Antifreeze contains chemicals that may cause kidney failure and death in pets, wild animals, and humans. Avoid leaving antifreeze in areas where your pet may come into contact with it. Antifreeze is naturally sweet and attracts thirsty animals. If you notice antifreeze on the ground, clean it up immediately, and keep your pet away from the area. If your pet ingests antifreeze, get him to your veterinarian immediately.

Maintain Supervision Over Your Pet.

Indoor heaters are commonly used to provide additional warmth inside homes across the country. However, heaters can pose a significant danger to pets. Pets may knock over electric heaters, become burned, or become otherwise injured from indoor heaters. While using such heaters, keep an eye on your pet. Never leave your pet unattended while portable heaters or open-flame heaters are on.

Although you want to keep your home and pet warm this winter, you need to take a few factors into consideration. By following these tips, you can keep your pets safe and warm without risking a trip to the veterinarian due to an emergency. If you will be leaving your home for a few days, consider boarding your pets at a veterinarian’s office, such as University Animal Hospital.

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