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With temperatures dropping and Winter in full swing, it's important to know how to keep your pet safe and healthy until Spring.
Leave your pets’ coats a little longer in the winter to provide more warmth. That summer “short cut” from your groomer should be avoided during cold weather. If you have short-haired breeds, consider getting them a coat or sweater that covers them from neck to tail and around the abdomen.
During icy and snowy conditions, slippery surfaces increase the risk of injuries due to falls. And while salting is a convenient solution for humans, the types of salt used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh for our four-legged friends. These salts – typically calcium or sodium chloride – can irritate the pads of your dog’s feet and are toxic if ingested.
While avoiding slippery surfaces and salted roads with your dog is ideal, booties are a good solution for both. Make sure to remove the booties after your walk, and it’s also a good idea to rinse your dog’s paws and abdomen with warm water as an extra precaution, to remove any ice and ensure there’s not any salt they may lick off and ingest. Be sure to dry them completely afterward so they don’t get chilled.
If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. You can make your own cat shelter quickly and easily with a plastic tub.
Cars are one of many hazards to small animals - warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car's hood to scare them away before starting your engine.