With the freezing nights and recent snow flurries, make sure you and your pet are prepared for the cold months ahead. Winter is a challenging season in regards to the safety of your beloved dog or cat. It can even be deadly if the proper precautions are not taken.
Always make sure your outside pets have fresh, not frozen, water. As the temperatures drop, dishes with stagnant water will likely freeze. Check water bowls at least three times a day and refill with fresh water.
Icy surfaces on sidewalks can also cause chapping and cutting to unprotected paws. Before going for your daily walk, make sure you give Fido the protection he needs: cover his paws with booties or bring a towel to clean off his feet along the way.
It is ideal to bring your outside pets indoors during the cold winter months. However, if this is not feasible, always make sure you provide your dog or cat with a safe, cozy place to rest. Make sure you have the proper shelter with plenty of warm bedding and a heating lamp is also recommended. Remember that your pet could freeze to death if not properly cared for.
Cars offer another potential danger during the chilly winter months. Cats especially like to hide under the hood of vacant vehicles. It is recommended to bang loudly on the hood of your vehicle before starting it in order to give your outdoor cat a chance to escape. Otherwise she could be severely injured or killed. Also, remember that antifreeze, like coolant, is lethal for dogs and cats. Always make sure that you clean up spills immediately or use a product that contains propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
More than anything else, simply be aware of your pets. Check on them often and bring them inside whenever you can. Observe for any limping or odd behavior, and if in doubt, contact your veterinarian for further advice.