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Albuquerque VetCo

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7 Pet Safety Tips for Cold Weather

cold safety albuquerque vet

It has been COLD this winter! Can you believe how much snow we have had. It has been a winter wonderland. The mountains looks so pretty covered in snow. But there are dangers to your pets when it is cold like this.

  1. Keep pets indoors
    When it is cold outside, keep your pet inside. You still need to take them out for walks and exercise, but keeping them inside in the warmth will keep them safe from temperature swings.
  2. Avoid strong cold wind
    Wind chill can make cold weather even colder. It can even threaten your pets life! So follow guideline #1 and keep your pet indoors. When you take them on short walks, and out for exercise, consider putting them in a sweater or coat. The skin on their nose, ears and paw pads can freeze quickly and make them at risk for frostbite and hypothermia. If you are concerned about frostbite or hypothermia, make sure to contact your vet immediately.
  3. Outside Precautions
    If your pet spends a lot of time outside, take some precautions to keep them safe.  Make sure to give them somewhere dry and draft free to retire. This way if they need a break from the wind and cold, they have a place to go. We suggest a structure a few inches off the ground to ensure that water stays out. You can add straw or cedar shavings to keep it dry and add some extra insulation.  It is also a good idea to cover the opening to the structure with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic, to keep the elements out.
  4. Warm Water
    Make sure your pets have access to warm water. When water is left outside it can get cold or even freeze. This can cause stomach issues or other complications if your pet is on the verge of hypothermia. You can get heated water bowls that will keep their water warm. Make sure to use plastic water bowls so if it is below freezing your pet’s tongue won’t freeze to the bowl.
  5. Lots of Food
    Keeping warm saps your pet’s energy. If your pet spends a lot of time outside, make sure to give them a little extra food. They will need a little extra energy this time of year.
  6. Cats under your car
    Keep an eye out for cats and other wildlife under, or even inside, your car. They are attracted to the warmth of the engine block and will sometimes sleep under your car or hood. Bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  7. Salt Safe
    Salt is used to melt ice and snow on walkways, but it is bad on your pet’s paws. After going on walks or exercise, wipe off your pet’s pads with a warm wet cloth to clean off any ice or de-icer chemicals. You want to make sure they don’t lick their paws and ingest any of it, as that can make them sick. The salt and de-icer chemicals can also irritate your pet’s pads or inside of their mouth. You can also get booties to put on their feet if they spend a lot of time outside. This will protect them from the cold and salt.