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It’s Cold Out There Even If You Have Fur

Published on February 5th, 2021

It’s easy to look at your pet covered in fur and think they’ll be fine outdoors when it’s cold. The reality is that dogs and cats have issues tolerating the cold just like us. There are some things you can do to make sure you keep them safe this winter.

Short But Sweet

Keep walks & outdoor time to a minimum. Pets are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia in these frigid temperatures. Also, don’t let your pet outside unsupervised. You may not realize how cold it is and leave them out for too long. Also, it’s easier for them to get disoriented in the cold and snow and potentially get lost.

Bundle Up

Sweaters & jackets are not only fashionable but functional. Short-haired or small dogs should definitely wear a sweater. Their fur offers little protection to the elements, especially if they get wet. Remember that puppies and senior dogs are more susceptible to cold than adults. Watch them closely for shivering, vocalization, or pale gums or skin as these can be signs of hypothermia.

Dirty Paws

Be sure to wipe off your dog’s paws when you come inside. Salt, antifreeze and other toxic chemicals can get on their feet during your walk. This can trigger allergies or even get them sick if they lick their feet. Wiping them off can help prevent this. If your dog will cooperate, booties can help keep their feet warm and dry.

Be Careful with Cats

Keep your cats indoors. Cats can easily hyperthermia in cold weather without shelter. Being cold can also lead to more tragic ends. Sometimes cats left outdoors in cold weather seek shelter and heat under the hoods of cars. This can cause injury or death when the ignition is turned on.

Remember, if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet. So, keep your animals inside. If you think your pet is suffering from hypothermia or frostbite, call us at Portage Park Animal Hospital in Chicago immediately.

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