Be Prepared for Winter!

davis petcare servicesThis time of year it’s important to know how to keep your pets safe and warm. Try not to let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm, dogs can easily become lost and may lose your scent easier. Make sure your dog always wears ID tags.  Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when they come in out of the sleet, snow or ice. They can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking their paws, and their paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months, be sure to completely dry them before taking them out for a walk. Own a short-haired breed? Consider getting them a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many dogs, this is regulation winter wear.  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.  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 them inside. If your dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take them outdoors only to relieve themselves. Increase their supply of food, particularly protein, to keep them and their fur in tip-top shape.  Like coolant, 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. Biodegrading takes a bit longer but, it’s much safer. Also, 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.  Remembering safe tips will help your home and your neighborhood in keeping everyone’s pets safe, warm and cozy. Happy Holidays from Davis Pet Care!