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Denver Area Veterinary Medical Society winter weather tips for your pet

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Winter weather is making its way to Denver, and while we prepare ourselves by turning up the heat, wearing extra layers, and warming up with a cozy cup of tea or cocoa, we must also remember to make special accommodations for our four-legged friends when the temperature drops.

You may notice that your pets are wanting extra snuggle time with you, and that’s because when the weather gets colder they need a warm place to sleep in your home – and because they adore you of course. Keep your pet comfortable by making sure there is a warm place for them to rest, avoid too much time outdoors, and never leave a pet alone in a car as temperatures inside can drop quickly and make it a deadly environment.

Dog owners should be extra cautious when spending time outdoors. Breed, size, and age can impact your dog’s tolerance for cold and snow. Smaller or short-haired breeds will be more comfortable with a sweater, coat, and booties. Older dogs and breeds more susceptible to the dangerous effects of chilly conditions should be kept indoors as much as possible.

All dogs spending time outdoors should be supervised and inspected before coming back inside. Salt, antifreeze, and other dangerous chemicals often used during the winter months can make your pet very sick; some are even deadly. After time outdoors, check your dog’s paws, legs, and stomach for salt and other dangerous residue, and be especially mindful of antifreeze near your garage and driveway because its sweet smell is tempting for animals.

The same precautions go for cats, so it’s best to keep your feline friends inside during overly cold weather, as falling temperatures and windchill can become deadly quite quickly. If you can’t keep your cat inside, be sure they have a warm, dry, safe place to be. Like dogs, they can be attracted to antifreeze, which is also deadly for them. Cats like to groom, so be sure their fur and paws are free from salt and chemicals.

If at any time you believe your pet may have ingested something it shouldn’t have, visit your veterinarian or the nearest emergency animal hospital.

Just like people, pets have special needs to stay warm and be comfortable during the cold weather. Keep your furry friend safe and healthy by following these tips, and enjoy the extra snuggle time while you can!

For more information on caring for pets, visit and click on the Resources for Pet Owners page.

For regular pet tips and breaking news for pet owners visit the DAVMS Facebook page.



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