Are you feeling the tell-tale signs of winter? Well so is your pet! Just like you or me, animals are strongly affected by cold temperatures, so now is the time to start thinking about how you can keep them comfortable and healthy during these cold days of winter.
It’s a great idea to take your pet to your veterinarian for a check- up. Better to take preventative measures to pre-empt any problems that could worsen as temperatures continue to drop. This is especially important for older pets, as they often have conditions like arthritis that makes their joints very sensitive and tender in colder months.
During the colder temperatures of a Massachusetts winter, keep your pet indoors as much as possible. When on walks, keep them on a leash and close to you at all times. This way you can make sure that they aren’t going to get into anything dangerous, like anti-freeze or rock salt. Keeping you furry friends on a leash prevents them from wondering too close to frozen ponds or lakes with thin ice. When you return from home your walk, wipe off your dog’s feet. He can ingest road salt, antifreeze, or other chemicals while licking his paws.
Did you know that Antifreeze is like maple syrup to animals? Its sweet smell and taste can be attractive and LETHAL to pets. Anti-freeze is poisonous to your pets, so be sure all antifreeze containers are tightly closed and placed on a high shelf.
Whether it is for a cat or dog, make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, away from any drafts. We all know not to leave our pet in a car during summer, but you may not realize that the same goes for the winter-when a car basically acts as a refrigerator!
If you keep your pet outside, make sure he has adequate shelter from the winter elements, and regularly check your pet’s water bowl to make sure it isn’t frozen. Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Here’s a great article that will help you out, http://hypothermia.org/animalhypo.htm. On particularly cold days or nights, bring your pet indoors where it is warm.