Winter Pet Care Tips

7 Tips to Keep Your Pet Healthy This Winter. Click to read more
January and February are the coldest months of the year. Snow, ice, and chilling temps can be a rude awakening for people and pets alike. Just as you take measures to stay warm, your pets could use some extra attention when the weather turns frightful. They may have a built-in winter coat year round, but unfortunately, this is not enough to keep them safe. Following these simple tips can help your furry friends stay happy and healthy through the winter months.
1. Leave haircuts for the spring. Now is not the time to shave or trim your pet short. That winter coat plays a vital role in insulation. It is also important to remember that, while fur does keep your animal warm, it is by no means a purrfect insulator. When left outside for an extended period of time, your pet can still become at risk for hypothermia. If their fur becomes wet, the risk is even higher.
2. Invite them indoors. Age plays an important role in an animal’s ability to stay warm. Puppies, kittens, and elderly animals should be kept inside on chilly days. Still, it is important to offer warm shelter to any animal regardless of their age. Even if you have an outdoor-only dog or cat, create a warm resting place for them and invite them in with treats. Start this transition now before major winter storms strike.
3. Make your home safe. With your pets spending more time indoors, now is the time to puppy-proof (or kitty-proof) your house. Common items, including some houseplants and chocolates, are toxic to animals. If you have a cat that is tempted by cords or wires, secure and cover them. Outside your home, antifreeze and other common chemicals (even in trace amounts) may poison your animals. Be sure to seal and store your bottle on a high shelf, and check your vehicles each day for leaks.
4. Be aware of your surroundings. Chilly temps will drive some animals to seek refuge in unexpected places. Cats are famous for hiding in warm engine compartments or on top of vehicle tires. Check under your hood and sound your horn before driving off, and remind neighbors to do the same.
5. Replenish food and water. Pet dehydration is typically associated with the summer months, but a frozen water bowl can be just as dangerous as a hot day. Change your pet’s water often and feed them a little extra kibble too! The extra calories will help your dog or cat maintain the energy to stay warm.
6. Walk with caution. If your pet can handle a cold-weather walk, it is a great way to stay active. Just remember to check for signs of paw injury, including cracks, bleeding, or ice accumulation between the toes. When hiking unleashed, be mindful of any frozen ponds or lakes nearby. If your pet wanders onto the ice and breaks through, the situation could turn deadly.
7. Know your pet’s limits. Perhaps the most important tip of all is to be mindful of your pet’s unique needs. The ability to tolerate cold weather varies from animal to animal based on factors like size, coat texture, age, and overall health. Your vet can help you determine how to best care for your pet this season.
Need a Winter Check-Up?
It is a good idea to have your pet examined before the stresses of winter arrive. The staff at Mebane Pet Clinic can assess your animal’s health and provide more helpful tips based on your lifestyle. Give us a call at (919)
304-5200 to schedule an appointment. We look forward to caring for your pet through every season!