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By Dr. Helen Hu, Veterinarian

It’s safe to say that the cold weather has finally tracked us down. As we start to take out our sweaters and jackets, remember that our pets are dealing with the temperature change as well. Check out these five tips to make sure you are providing good care this Winter:

The Cold Ground Can Be Harmful
Our canine and feline friends have sensitive paws, regardless of breed. Make sure to check for signs of injury after a walk outside in colder temperatures. Signs include skin that is cracked, bleeding or feels like wax. A sudden limp after a walk could be an indicator that ice has built up in between toes. Paw Booties are always a good idea if you are walking around areas with ice, as the calcium or sodium-chloride used to melt ice can be tough on paws.

Pet Fur Does Not Protect Against Extreme Weather
It is a common misconception that fur fully protects against the extreme cold weather of winter. Sure it adds a layer of warmth, but pets can always benefit from an extra layer of clothing during the winter to keep warm. This is very important for dogs with short hair.

Kick The Tires
As the temperature drops, dogs and cats sometimes search for warmer places to relax. One of those spots tends to be underneath car tires because of the warmth it can provide. Give a quick look under your tires to ensure your pets are not in danger when driving your vehicle. Cats have also been known to crawl up next to a warm engine in a driveway or garage, so make sure to tap on your hood before starting up the engine!

Antifreeze Poisoning Is Out There
As Dr. Plitt referenced in her blog last month, antifreeze products tend to be out and about during the colder months, and these products can be poisonous to pets. Make sure to clean up even the smallest of spills right away so that your pet doesn’t lick it up. If you are shopping for a bottle of antifreeze, remember that Ethylene Glycol is the toxic element. There are several options out there that do not include Ethylene Glycol. If you end up using a regular antifreeze product, just make sure to clean up any spills before your pet does!

Stay Active
Don’t let the cold weather prevent your pet from getting the exercise or activity they need. As long as you stay alert and prepared your pet can still enjoy a nice walk outdoors or an afternoon at the dog park. It is important to keep their minds and bodies in shape regardless of the season. If you want to get creative indoors, you can always play tug-of-war in the hallway of your home or have your pet chase you around the house with a treat in your hand – that might get both you and your pet off the couch this season!

Give us a call at 410.768.3620 or schedule an appointment online to further discuss your pet this season.

See you soon!

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