Tips to keep your pets safe this winter

Local News

WEST CARROLLTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Local veterinarians are saying if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets.

“If there’s absolutely no way they can come in, you need a shelter that is dry and wind tight. It’s off the ground with plenty of bedding,” said Dr. Craig Clouse of Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. Clouse says keeping your pets inside during the winter is the safest choice you can make.

If you’re taking your pet on a walk, try and protect their paws.

If your pet is out too long, there’s a risk for frostbite

“Any discoloration, if you see cracks or bleeding. If they are out walking they might not tell you right away. They’ll get In and be sore,” said Dr. Clouse.

As the snow flurries continue, you’ll need to make sure your pet isn’t getting into toxic chemicals.

“Be careful when we are walking outside with pets. With all the deicer, some of them are toxic. If they are out in salted areas make sure you wipe those paws,” said Dr. Clouse.

Below is a list of tips from Twin Maples Veterinary Hospital on how to keep your pets safe this winter.

  • Bring your pets inside-If it’s too cold for you to stay outside for hours in a jacket or coat, it’s too cold for your pet! Short coated, small pets and groomed pets have even less resistance to the cold.  Pet coats and sweaters can be used for walks.
  • Check the paws— Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage, such as cracked paw pads or bleeding. During a walk, a sudden lameness may be due to an injury or may be due to ice accumulation between his/her toes
  • Wipe downDuring walks, your dog’s feet, legs and belly may pick up deicers, antifreeze, or other chemicals that could be toxic.
  • Avoid iceWhen walking your dog, stay away from frozen ponds, lakes and other water. You don’t know if the ice will support your dog’s weight, and if your dog breaks through the ice it could be deadly.
  • Provide shelterWe don’t recommend keeping any pet outside for long periods of time, but if you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide him/her with a warm, solid shelter against wind. The shelter should have warm, dry bedding and be off the ground.
  • Unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water (by changing the water frequently or using a pet-safe, heated water bowl).
  • Feed wellOutside pets need more calories in the cold, but don’t overdo.
  • Avoid antifreeze poisoning-cold weather often brings antifreeze spills. Pets will readily lap this up as it has a sweet taste.  Very small amounts cause fatal kidney failure.
  • Tap on your car’s hood before starting-many outdoor and feral cats seek the heat of engine blocks.

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