The cold weather has its effect on all of us, but it’s also important to remember it can have an impact on our furry friends.
They may have fur coats but it doesn’t mean pets aren’t feeling the cold cut through as well.
“The biggest thing to remember is if it’s too cold for you outside, it’s too cold for your pets,” said Dr. Kristin Haviar, of the Animal Hospital of Rocky Hill.
The cold temps, ice and snow on the ground is enough to make anyone want to layer up and wear booties outside.
“My wife makes sure that they have plenty of fashionable dog coats and things to keep warm,” said Jack Lahto, who has three Chihuahuas, who stay indoors most of the time. “They stay in most of the time during the cold weather but they go out two or three times a day. I actually go out and shovel the snow off the grass, we call it a yellow snow zone.”
Haviar said it’s important for when dogs come back inside that they don’t have any snowballs, ice or salt stuck in their paws.
“If they’re constantly licking or chewing at their paws, any redness, irritation, if their paws don’t seem to warm up too quickly,” are signs to look for, Haviar said.
Other things to remember if you’ve got furry friends around, are to “check car engines because kittens and stray cats like to sneak in there,” Haviar said.
She added that you’ll “want to check for any puddles of anti-freeze because anti-freeze can be very dangerous for pets if they lick that up that could be very toxic to them.”
Also, just because it isn’t warm out doesn’t mean owners should stop treating for ticks and fleas.
“We just had a patient that was outside for over 24 hours, was missing and came back and had some engorged ticks on them. So even in this cold weather the ticks are out there so make sure your pets are protected,” Haviar said.
That patient was the state police hound that recently made headlines, Texas. He is doing well.
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