Cold Weather Tips

Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts.  Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities? Increase his supply of food, particularly protein. Antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape. Keep your cat indoors. Felines can freeze, become lost or injured in snow-coverd terrain.  Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm—dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. Consider getting a short-haired breed a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.