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Winter Care for Your Pets

Published on January 12th, 2017

If you are cold, chances are that your pet is cold as well. During the winter, especially in places like Chicago, it is important to take steps to keep your pet warm. Fortunately, there are some simple ways to make sure that your furry friend stays healthy in the cold weather, from bundling them up on walks to watching out for winter poisons.

Shelter and Food

The most basic way you can keep your pets safe in the winter is ensuring a warm home. Even if your cat is an outdoor cat during the spring to fall, he or she should be brought inside for the winter. Dogs typically love to be outside, but do not let them play in the snow for too long; make sure they stay inside other than for walks and exercise. If your dog has to be outside for longer periods of time, provide a shelter for them. The shelter needs to be dry and draft-free, large enough for them to fit easily, but small enough to contain body heat.

Additionally, keep in mind that pets that are outside for longer periods of time will need more food to stay warm. Water bowls need to be refilled more often, and both food and water bowls should be plastic because your pet’s tongue could stick to metal.

Protection

One of the hardest parts of winter for animals is the wind chill. On walks, dogs are exposed to freezing cold wind, with their noses, ears, and paw pads open to the elements. Invest in some booties if your dog will wear them, and get a sweater for shorthaired dogs. When the wind chill is extreme, keep walks as short as possible and engage in some exercise in your home instead.

Protection from the wind and the elements isn’t the only type of protection your pet needs; there are many winter poisons that dogs and cats can be exposed to. Antifreeze is common during the winter, but it has a sweet taste that animals may be attracted to. Clean up any antifreeze or household chemical spills immediately to protect your pets. Salt poisoning can also occur in dogs after walks because they will want to lick any rock salt off their paws. Always wipe off your dogs paws immediately after a walk!

If your pet does ingest any of these winter poisons, contact Portage Park right away. For additional veterinary services, make an appointment with us today!

Courtesy of: Humane Society

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