When old Jack Frost comes to town, he brings new concerns regarding your pet’s safety. Avoid an unplanned trip to the veterinary clinic by keeping these winter hazards in mind:
• Ice: Take care to ensure a safe walkway, paying extra close attention to stairs, so slips don’t turn into injuries. If you leave a water bowl outside for your pet, check it daily to make sure it hasn’t frozen.
• De-icers: Speaking of ice, be sure to use a pet-friendly de-icer on your own walkway to protect your pet’s feet from caustic agents. Booties are
•Also helpful here, but if your pet won’t tolerate them, be sure to give paws a good wipe when you come back inside.
• Far from home: When snow covers scents and visual landmarks, pets who roam off-leash have a harder time finding their way back home. Avoid off-leash play until the bulk of the snow has melted.
• Skin care: Winter brings out the worst in pets prone to dry skin. Low humidity combined with forced heat can lead to winter itch. Nourish skin with moisturizing leave-in conditioners — and ask your vet about adding beneficial omega-3 fatty acids to your pet’s diet.
• Hypothermia: Sometimes it’s simply too cold for your pet to be outside, regardless of his breed. Check out our Cold Weather Chart for guidance at www.gopetplan.com/blogpost/cold-weather-and-dogs.
• Aching joints: Cold temperatures also irritate arthritic joints. Talk to your vet if you feel your pet could use some extra help in the pain relief department.