Winter sometimes can hit us hard and fast, especially when we aren’t properly prepared for it. Just like us, our pets need extra protection against winter weather conditions to ensure their safety. Despite dogs and cats having fur coats, they still can be affected by the cold. During the winter, cats and dogs can become susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia, arthritis, or other illnesses and infections. These conditions are mostly preventable, however, if treatment is necessary your pet will need to visit your local Vancouver veterinary hospital. If you live somewhere that faces more extreme weather conditions, you will need to be particularly vigilant with your pet care. Most of us are aware of hot weather conditions and the effect they can have on our pets. Just like leaving your pets in a hot car, there are things we do during the winter that can be deadly to animals. The best way to avoid these accidents is to be aware and prepared.

Here are 4 ways to keep your pets safe during the winter.

When in doubt, keep your pets inside

If you are experiencing below-freezing temperatures in your areas, it’s best to avoid having your pets play or sleep outside for an extended period. It’s important to take dogs out for exercise and for cats to have their outside time, however, if pets are left outside in these temperatures for too long, they can become seriously ill. Playing with your pets indoors is a great way to get some energy out while also keeping them safe.

Protect the paws, please!

Not only do dog booties look adorable, but they’re also useful. During winter conditions, ice, salt chemicals, and rocks can get stuck in paws and cause discomfort, pain, and injury to your pets. Salt chemicals can cause drying, cracking and even burning of paws. These kinds of irritations can be harder to spot on your pet, so being preventative is key. Not all dogs will adjust well to booties, and they’re not a viable option for all pets. There are specially designed paw balms and creams on the market that are safe to use and can prevent winter injuries to paws.

Be aware of poisonous chemicals

The same salt chemicals that cause injuries to paws can also cause internal harm if they are ingested. Common ice-melting agent chemicals, coolants, and antifreeze can be deadly to pets. It’s important to keep an eye on your dog during a walk and wipe down its paws when you return home. Be aware of signs that your cat or dog has ingested poisonous chemicals. These symptoms may appear as difficulty breathing, drooling, diarrhea, vomiting, or seizures. Contact or visit a trusted Vancouver veterinary hospital immediately if you notice unusual behaviors or symptoms in your pet.

Keep safe during a snowstorm

Stormy and snowy weather conditions can cause disorientation for both dogs and cats, even if they are used to being outdoors. During a snowstorm, you may want to keep your dog on a leash at all times to prevent them from getting lost. Shoveling a path to your door will also make it easier for your dog to recognize their home. Whether you have an indoor or outdoor cat, providing temporary extra-warm shelter for them to ride out a chilly storm is a great idea.

At Cypress Vet, we understand the concerns surrounding keeping your pets safe during extreme weather conditions. Our veterinary hospital in Vancouver has a team of highly-skilled veterinarians who are here to assist you with any concerns you might have and ensure your furry friends are getting the highest quality care.