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Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic Blog

Brrrrrring on Winter! Winter Pet Safety Tips

winter pet safetyIn Lynnwood, our little slice of heaven, we are lucky to have mild winters. Since we usually don’t get much snow, it may be easy to overlook winter pet safety. However, it is still good to think about how to best keep our pets safe in cold, wet weather.

Read on for some tips to keep your pet friends safe, comfortable, and happy during the coldest months of the year.

Winter Pet Safety

Keep them in – Common belief is that pets are better equipped to handle cold weather due to their coat, but fur is actually not adequate protection from wind and cold weather. Pets are still susceptible to hypothermia. Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather.

Bundle up – If your dog has a short coat, cover up with a warm sweater or dog coat before heading outside. In very cold or snowy weather, some pet owners opt to get boots for their dogs to protect sensitive paws from ice and cold.

Wipe down – After walks and trips outside, use a clean towel to dry their feet, belly, and chest. Pet paws can pick up ice, rock salt, and chemicals such as antifreeze, so pay special attention to cleaning and drying their paws.

Check the car – Outdoor and feral cats like to take refuge against anything warm, and a warm car engine will do! Check carefully for any critters by looking under the hood, honking your horn, or rapping on the hood of your car before starting your engine.

Scale down – Just like some of us, our pets tend to gain weight in the winter as we are less likely to go for a walk or spend time outdoors. Watch your pet’s food intake to ensure they don’t gain unnecessary weight.

Winter Pet Safety for the Young at Heart

A pet’s tolerance for cold and wet weather can vary. Breed, age, and general health status can all come into play for a pet’s ability to brave winter weather. Cold weather may be especially hard on the joints of senior pets.

Remember to provide a soft warm bed inside. Stay close to support them on stairs, and be aware of icy conditions that they may not be able to safely navigate. A fall can be especially debilitating to older arthritic pets, so be aware of any hazardous conditions around your home.

At the Animal Skin and Allergy Clinic, our specialty is dermatology, but we welcome your questions about pet safety at any time of the year. Contact us with any questions you may have.