Frankie's Furry Friends: Wintertime Care for Pets
- Knock on your car hood when you go outside, before you start your car up. Why? Because cats will often crawl into a car to stay warm during winter. Once you start your car up, they may not survive.
- Fresh, not frozen, water is a necessity. If an animal doesn't have access to fresh water, it can cause dehydration, thus resulting in further internal temperature balance.
- Buy pet-friendly rock salt. Some salts can cause chemical burns on the paw pads of our furry friends. Make sure to rinse off your pets feet when you come in from outside to wash off any ice or salt. And keep a close eye on the paw pads for any redness or irritation. If you notice any kinds of burns or irritation, please take your pet to the vet for some medication to help relieve it.
- Also beware of coolant/antifreeze on the ground. Cats especially are drawn to it, but dogs will take a lick as well. Vehicles can leave these puddles which can be lethal to our pets.
- Avoid bathing your pets too often during the winter months as it can dry out their coat, which in turn can cause flaky, itchy skin. Also consider massaging a small amount of petroleum jelly on their paw pads once in a while to keep them moisturized.
- Limit walks and playtime to 10-30 minutes (depending on your pet and your judgment). Hypothermia can set in within 20-30 minutes during these extreme cold temperatures. If you notice your dog trying to sit, or holding paws up, it is time to take them inside as they are starting to feel frostbite.
- Consider upping your pet's food intake, especially if they are outdoorsy and take winter walks. Animals expend more energy during winter months trying to keep their body temperatures raised.