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Winter Safety for Pets

Winter is officially here! The cold weather can be very dangerous for our furred, feathered, and scaled friends. You’ll want to take a few precautions to keep your little (or not so little) buddy warm and comfy as temperatures plummet. Read on as a London, ON vet discusses winter safety for pets.

Cats

We strongly recommend keeping cats inside. Kitties that go outdoors are already at risk from traffic and predators. In winter, plunging temperatures also threaten them. Fluffy could get into trouble in deep snow! She’s also prone to frostbite, especially on her ears and the tip of her tail. On top of that, snow masks scents, and could bury scent markers and landmarks that help your adventurous pet find her way home. This increases the chances of your furball getting lost. Antifreeze is another concern. It’s extremely toxic to cats, but unfortunately has a taste that many kitties like. Clean up any spills right away. If you do let your furball go outdoors, make sure she has an emergency shelter. A storage tote with a kitty door cut in one end will work.

Dogs

Keeping Fido indoors is, of course, not really an option. If your pet has thin fur, he’ll be more comfortable with a doggy jacket. Paw care is also important. Your pooch can get painful burns and abrasions from running on sand, salt, ice, and chemical de-icing agents! Use paw palm to protect Fido’s furry feet, and wipe his paws down before you bring him in. When walking your dog, keep a close eye on the terrain. Snow can hide potential hazards, like broken glass. Also, be sure to stay away from dangerous areas, such as riverbanks and frozen bodies of water.

Pocket Pets, Birds, and Exotics

These smaller pets usually live in tanks, cages, or terrariums. Keeping your animal companion’s habitat at a suitable temperature for them is very important! You’ll also need to make sure your pet isn’t too close to heaters or fireplaces, or in a drafty area. Reptiles are a particular concern, as they can get very sick if they get too cold. Make sure you have a way to keep your pet’s habitat heated if you lose power. You may want to invest in a small generator.

Please contact us, your London, ON vet clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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