Most people are aware of the hazards of hot weather for pets, but many may not be aware of the need to protect their pets just as much during the cold weather months. We are including a few tips here to help you keep your precious pet safe during winter.

No matter the weather, it is always advised to make sure your pet has his or her annual preventive care appointment with a veterinarian. These exams are critical in keeping your pet healthy and happy. It will allow you and your veterinarian to work together on any health concerns you may have for your pet, and locate issues you may not yet be aware of.

Tip #1: Keep Your Pets INSIDE:
There is a common misconception that dogs and cats can better tolerate the cold temperatures because of their “fur coats”. This is inaccurate. Although breeds with thicker coats can tolerate the cold for longer periods than their short-haired counterparts, no animal should be left to the elements without a way to come in from the cold, especially temperatures that stay below freezing. Just like us, they can develop frostbite and hypothermia. Always bring your pets inside during cold AND hot weather.

Tip #2: Make Some Noise To Save A Life:
Feral cats and small wild animals often find the warmth of your cars engine an ideal place to combat the cold of winter. Before starting your car, bang on the hood and honk the horn. This will alert them to your presents and get them to vacate your engine before you start it, saving a life.

Tip #3: Check Your Pet:
Pets can develop cracked or bleeding paws from the cold weather and can also form “ice balls” on the hair between their pads. Keeping the hair trimmed and wiping them often during a walk will help minimize this. If you notice cracked paws or lameness with your pooch, give our Ellicott City, MD veterinarian a call. After every walk, you should also wipe down your pet’s paws and belly in the event they picked up any antifreeze or deicer on their coat which, if licked, could poison your pet.

We hope these tips will help you and your pets enjoy the coming winter. Give us a call today at (410) 465-6218 to schedule your annual preventive exam for your pet.