Despite their furry jackets, pets are no less at-risk to feeling the effects of cold weather than we are as humans.
Craig White of Pet Supplies Plus (www.petsuppliesplus.com) shared tips for keeping dogs and cats healthy and happy in the winter months:
- Clean paws: Salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate paw pads - and may even be harmful if ingested. Wipe feet with a damp towel before your dog or cat gets the chance to lick them. Consider paw booties when going on walks for extra warmth and protection.
- Feed and hydrate adequately: Be sure to feed and hydrate your pets adequately in the winter. Pets that spend significant time outdoors on walks need more to eat in the winter, since keeping warm depletes energy. Be sure their water is kept fresh and if kept outside, use plastic bowls instead of metal to avoid their tongue getting stuck to the dish.
- Get your pet an 'ID microchip': More dogs are lost during the winter than in any other season, so ensure pets are wearing identification tags. "Get your pet an 'ID microchip' and also a leather collar with a tag bearing your home address and cell phone number," said Mark Shackelford, DVN, co-owner of the 15th Street Veterinary Group.
- Potty-train pups indoors: Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.
- Beware of the hazards: If you live near water, keep your animals away from ice. If you are outside near frozen water, stay near your pet. Pay extra attention to antifreeze. Dogs love the smell and will drink it if they find any. This is extremely dangerous and will kill your pet.
- Pet Supplies Plus Outright/Bramton Dog Booties: $9.98
- Pet Supplies Plus Van Ness Large Dog Crock Dish: $5.48
- Pet Supplies Plus Nutri-Vet Pad Guard Wax: $8.98
- Pet Supplies Plus Four Paws Wee Wee Pads:$9.98
- Pet Supplies Plus Pawz Rubber Dog Boots: $14.98
- Pet Supplies Plus Check Puffer Jacket: $17.98
- Pet Supplies Plus Coastal Latigo Leads Dog Collar: $25.98