Winter Pet Care Tips
Frostbite: Remove any ice and snow from your pet's paws or fur as quickly as possible. Skin that is frostbitten may turn reddish, White or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing. Take your pet to a warm place immediately if you suspect your pet may have frostbite. Remember to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly by applying warm, moist towels that are changed frequently. Continue until the affected areas become flushed. To evaluate any serious problems, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
Snow Removal Salt: Some substances designed to remove snow and ice have low to moderate toxicity depending on the ingredients and the amount ingested. Always store these products in tight containers out of the reach of your pets (and your children). If your pet gets some salt on their paws, then wash off immediately.
Antifreeze: Even a very small amount of antifreeze can be fatal. Read labels and warning carefully as precautions need to be taken with all antifreeze products on the market. Thoroughly clean up any spills immediately. Keep containers tightly closed and store them where the pets cannot get to them.
Housing: Provide proper shelter for your pets. Indoor dogs should have a bed or crate that is kept in a warm, draft-free area. Outdoor pets should have a warm insulated pet house or shelter. The house should be elevated enough so that moisture cannot accumulate inside. If possible, provide a 'door' (canvas or other cloth) to keep out the winter winds. If the wind chill or temperatures become severe, bring your pet inside.
Napping Cats: Cats sometimes climb onto vehicle engines for warmth. Before starting your vehicle, knock on the hood and honk the horn. Even if your own cat does not have access to your vehicle, a neighbor's cat might have taken shelter there.
Food: Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops. Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
Water: Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet. If your pet is kept outdoors, be sure to check his water frequently since it may freeze.
Heartworm Disease: This mosquito-transmitted disease can be fatal to your dog. It is recommended that dogs be kept on heartworm preventative throughout the year. After having your dog tested for heartworms by your veterinarian, ask about the options in heartworm preventatives.