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8 things you can do to help mitigate cold weather issues for your pet.

Puppy it’s cold outside

Winter is finally showing itself and wow is it cold outside.  Along with the cold temperatures come some dangers for your fur babies and as pet parents we all need to be informed about the dangers of freezing temperatures and our pet’s exposure to it.

Those cold temperatures also come with some other dangers depending on where you live and what’s used on the roadways.  Salt and other deicing chemicals are widely used and can not only cause pain to dried, cracked paws, there is also dangers from poisoning that can happen when the pets try and clean themselves and ingest those chemicals while licking their paws. Check out this list of helpful tips.

  • towel dry your pet as soon as they come inside, paying special attention to their feet and between their toes. My little guy gets chunks of snow between his paws so I make sure to clean those out when he comes inside from doing his business.
  • Check for cracks in your pet’s paws and be sure not to forget the area between their toes.  Sometimes packed snow and ice can get between the paws as the walk and causes pain and numbness.  
  • Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry skin. If your pet must be bathed, ask your vet or groomer to recommend a moisturizing shampoo or rinse.
  • Make sure they put their coats on !  Using a coat or sweater will help your dog maintain body heat and help them to not get overly dry skin.
  • Boots-on-the-ground.   Minimize contact with painful salt crystals and poisonous chemical ice-melting agents by getting booties for your dog (try to make a cat wear them, I dare you !). They can also help prevent salt from getting lodged in between toes, causing irritation.
  • Massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside and after toweling off when you get back helps to protect from salt and chemical agents.
  • Make sure pets get plenty of water.  They burn extra energy trying to stay warm in cold weather so they will need some extra hydration.
  • Remember, if the weather’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your them. Animal should remain indoors as much as possible during the winter months and never be left alone in vehicles.

For some very informative reading check out the WebMD website. I had no idea they even had a pet site until recently.

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