Cold weather tips
Protect your pet from hypothermia. Shivering is the fist sign that your pet is too cold. Signs of hypothermia can include weakness and lethargy. The gums may be pale or bluish. Contact your veterinarian at Rita Ranch Pet Hospital immediately if your suspect hypothermia.
Avoid cold-related hazards that can seriously affect your pet
- Provide and insulated, dry shelter with blankets or pads on the floor where your pet can get out of the cold and wind. Elevate your pet’s bed off the ground or cold floor.
- Do not leave your pet outside for long periods of time on cold days and keep your pet inside when the weather conditions are severe. Pay attention to the wind chill factor.
- Pets are susceptible to frostbite. Remove ice and frozen mud from your pet. Can your veterinarian for advice if your pet’s skin is painful, turns reddish, white or gray or is sloughing.
- Do not leave a pet in a parked vehicle at any time. The temperature in a vehicle can dip too low. If you engine is left running, your pet could be in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Cats have been known to seek shelter under warm car hoods. Be sure to check before starting your car. Honk your horn to scare off any animals that may be in there.
- Supplemental heat sources can seriously burn your pet or cause a fire if knocked over by a pet. Be sure your pets do not have access to portable heaters and fireplaces.
- Provide your outdoor pet with shelter from storms.
- Provide additional calories for your pet if it spends a lot of time outdoors. More calories are burned because of the extra energy required to keep warm in cold weather. Talk to your veterinarian at Rita Ranch Pet Hospital for nutritional advice.
- Be sure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, clean water.
- Pets can be attracted to the sweet taste of antifreeze, but even a small amount can be deadly. Clean up spills and store where pets can’t get it.
- Products used to melt snow and ice on walkways and roadways have varying levels of toxicity can irritate your pet’s feet and skin. Avoid it when possible or wash and dry your pet after contact with these products.
- Rodent killers are commonly used in cold weather months. Be sure to place them where your pet can’t get at them.
Holidays can be stressful for pets. Try to keep your pets routine as normal as possible. Avoid changes in your pet’s diet. Provide a quiet space for your pets to get away from holiday activities and guests.