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cold weather pet careSome pet owners glide from season to season seemingly unbothered by our climate’s requirements. However, in a place that commonly experiences single digits and sizable snowstorms, we know that cold weather pet care must remain a priority all season long.

We’re not saying you and your pet can’t enjoy the winter, but with a little extra care and vigilance, your fun factor can set new highs.

But First, the Lows

Some pets love the cold weather and have thick winter coats and long legs to endure periods of time outside. However, when the temperature dips below freezing (and certainly if it’s below 20 degrees), your pet’s place is inside your cozy home. Young pets, senior pets, and those with health conditions cannot regulate internal body temperature well.

If your pet simply enjoys time outside, please ensure there’s plenty of fresh, clean, unfrozen drinking water and a wind/precipitation shelter. Gear them up for longer walks with a waterproof vest/jacket/sweater and easy-to-wear booties.

When your pet comes back in, be sure to rinse the feet, wipe the paws, and dry off the coat. Set them up on an insulating bed away from cold drafts.

Other Cold Weather Pet Care Tips

For your pet’s safety and wellbeing, we offer the following ideas:

  • Keep your pet’s coat trimmed and free of any mats. Shorter-haired pets really benefit from pet clothing. All pets should be dried off after any time outside.
  • Cats like to wander all year long, but in winter, they’re infamous for hiding beneath the hoods of cars to stay warm and get out of the elements. Always bang on the hood to warn possible stowaways that your engine’s about to turn over.
  • Keep your pet’s microchip updated and ensure that tags are clearly legible. The snow makes it harder for pets to track their stomping grounds. Also, keep your dog on leash while on or near freezing water as accidental drowning (even in winter) is a real threat to cold weather pet care.
  • Antifreeze is widely used but toxic to pets. Store bottles securely, clean up any spills, leaks, or drips, and never allow your pet to drink from the puddles of melting snow/ice.
  • Space heaters and fireplaces or wood burning stoves can lead to burns or even house fires. Lit candles pose the same risk.

If the team at Rutland Veterinary Clinic can assist you further with cold weather pet care, we encourage you to contact us. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer, or fall, we’re always here for your pet!