We’ve had a recent influx of cold weather in Vancouver and it’s supposed to snow even more this year so it’s important to keep your pets nice and toasty warm. Remember they won’t be able to tell you if they are freezing.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:
Be Aware Of Medical Conditions
Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Pets are just as prone to getting arthritis as much as humans so it’s important to keep an eye on your older animals. Remember you should get your pet examined by a veterinarian at least once a year to ensure they’re in good health. A veterinarian will be able to point out problems before you realize them yourself.
Out In The Cold
Pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks.
Also, older pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk.
It’s a common belief that thick-coated dogs and cats are more resistant than people to cold weather but it’s untrue. Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside in negative temperatures.
Smaller, short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground.
Salted Roads and Sidewalks
Salt and ice-removal products can irritate the mouth, paws and skin. It can cause stomach upset and even vomiting if ingested. There are pet-friendly, non-corrosive de-icing compounds readily available in stores. If you let your pet out in the yard, consider picking an ice-removal product that doesn’t irritate your animal’s paws.
For Non-Pet Owners
We recommend using pet-safe propylene-based antifreeze in your car or truck. Traditional antifreeze with ethylene glycol is highly toxic to pets and if ingested, it can cause kidney failure. A tablespoon is enough to kill a cat or small dog.
Something else we recommend to all drivers, whether or not they have pets, is to think and thump before starting the car. During cold weather, cats racoons, and other wildlife often gravitate to warm vehicle engines during the night. Banging the hood of the car can alert an animal and help avoid a tragic ending for an animal seeking refuge from the cold.
It just takes two seconds — as the weather gets colder, animals look for warmth wherever they can find it. It’s one, simple act, and it’s a great idea to make thumping a habit every morning when it’s cold outside.
If you need to make an appointment or have concerns about your pet during winter give us a call HERE