Wednesday, February 8, 2012

 Cold Weather Tips for Your Pets
Maryland winters are notoriously erratic. As we saw this past week, it can be 30 degrees one day and 70 the next. Keeping your pets safe and comfortable during the winter months can be quite a challenge. Here are a few tips to help your pets make it through winter.

  •       Keep cats indoors – cats can easily get hurt or freeze to death in colder temperatures. 
  •       Don’t leave your pets in the car unattended.
  •     When you come back inside after an icy and snowy walk remember to wipe your dog’s paws and stomach thoroughly. Snow can get trapped in between your dog’s paws and cause the pads to crack and bleed. Rock salt and other chemicals used to treat roads can make your pets sick if ingested.
  •      Use only pet-friendly rock salt to melt ice on your sidewalks and driveway.
  •    Consider buying your dog a coat and set of boots. Coats are a necessity for short-haired breeds and smaller dogs. Boots help protect dogs’ feet from ice and snow and provide traction in slippery conditions.
  •    If your dog won’t wear boots (or you think they are too goofy) try applying a barrier cream to your dog’s paws. The cream only needs to be applied once a week and helps protect your dog’s paw pads from chemicals and ice. You can even use Crisco! 
  •    Don’t allow your dog to run around off leash in the snow (except in the dog park). A dog can easily lose their scent and not be able to find their way home. More dogs are lost in winter than during any other time of year.
  •    Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. It should be off the floor and away from any drafts.
  •   Keep anti-freeze out of pets’ reach and clean up any spills. Pets enjoy anti-freeze’s sweet taste but even ingesting a small amount can kill a pet.

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