Pet Winter Safety Tips
Pet Winter Safety Tips in Amesbury, MA
Most pets require a bit more care in the winter. Humans can wrap up in layers and protect themselves from the cold in many ways. Our pets need our help to keep them safe and healthy in the colder months. Pets can’t just put on their coats and scarves and make sure they are warm. They also don’t always know the dangers of snow and ice like humans do. You have to think of pets as children because they need help being safe and warm and can’t do everything for themselves or even decide what is best without your help.
What can you do to keep your Dog safe in the winter?
If you have a dog, understand what temperatures they can handle and what they cannot.
Some dogs do just fine in colder weather. Huskies thrive in the cold and do even better than they do in summer. However, you need to know your dog well enough to recognize their limits when it comes to cold conditions. Some dogs are more susceptible to adverse reactions to cold than others. Dogs that are thin or have short coats tend to suffer from the cold quicker and to a higher degree than other dogs. Elderly dogs also should not be outside in freezing temperatures for long or even at all if it can be avoided. If your dog has any health problems, it’s also best to keep them inside where it is warm as much as possible. Freezing temperatures can significantly negatively affect your dog’s immune system if it is already compromised from health concerns.
Winter gear for dogs that want to be outside:
- Jackets – Jackets for Dogs are helpful because they give extra warmth to the areas where your dog’s vital organs are and keep most of their body heat in, allowing them to stay warmer for longer.
- Shoes and Boots– This is probably a more critical piece of gear than a jacket because it protects your dog’s paws from frostbite. Boots for dogs also protect them from hurting their paws on any ice patches
Cat Winter Safety
It’s extremely common for cats to seek warmth under your car in the winter. They may be sitting anywhere under there, and taking a quick look doesn’t always prove a cat is not there. People have found cats in the undercarriage of their car as well as in the wheel well above their tires. Cats can get themselves into very small spaces in and under your vehicle, and in the winter, they have the motivation to do so. Before starting your car, some good ideas are banging on your hood or honking your horn to scare a cat out from under your vehicle. This way, they aren’t hurt when you start your car. Sometimes a cat can get stuck somewhere in your car’s mechanics and be trapped for several reasons. They may just be too scared to get out the way they came in. If you think it’s possible that a cat is under your car and you’ve tried to scare it away, you should try to hear the cat if you can before assuming there isn’t one there. You can tap on your car in different spots while you walk around the exterior of it. If you hear any sounds that a cat may make, then you probably have a cat trapped in your undercarriage somewhere.
Feed your pets a bit more in the winter.
One way to help keep your pets happy and healthy in the winter is to feed them a bit more than they usually eat in the warmer times of the year. All animals lose body fat a little faster in cold temperatures, so feeding them a bit extra shouldn’t be a concern for obesity. If your pet is a bit on the thinner side, this is probably a great idea, as putting on a little extra body fat will help your pets stay warmer overall. So, feeding them a bit extra shouldn’t be a concern for obesity.
Prepare ahead of time.
As it gets closer to winter, it’s essential to be as prepared as possible. Many families make emergency plans for blizzards and stock up on nonperishable food, first aid kits, and medications in case of a power out or snow in. This consideration should be taken for your pets too. If your pet is on any prescription medication, it’s good to stock up a few months ahead on it in case any inclement weather may keep you from your vet or refilling your prescription for an indefinite amount of time.
Being prepared for the winter months applies to your wardrobe and your human family’s and your pets. You can even dress your dog for winter now. Make sure always to be careful of any animals seeking heat under your car. A good strategy for keeping your pets warm in the winter is keeping their body fat a bit higher than usual. It doesn’t take much effort to get through the winter when you prepare yourself and your pets ahead of time.
Merrimac Valley Animal Hospital had humble beginnings in 1968. Dr. Walter Brown opened the animal hospital in a garage next to his home near the current hospital and operated out of this small space until the current building was built in 1969.