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Cold Weather Tips for Your Pet

Winters in the Midwest can be downright brutal – with the freezing temps and biting winds, it’s important to make sure that your dog or cat stays safe and warm during the cold weather months. Happy Tails Pet Hospital has some helpful tips to keep your pets safe this winter.

  • Smaller dogs and dogs with short coats often feel more comfortable wearing sweaters or jackets to keep them warm. Although dogs with long or thick coats do better in colder weather, precautions should still be taken while out for walks or during exercise.
  • Never leave dogs or cats outdoors for a prolonged amount of time when there is a drop in temperature. Windchills can also drastically affect the temperature and pose a serious threat to pets that are outside for an extended amount of time.
  • Many cats will seek refuge from the cold by crawling under the hood of a car. Cats and other small animals are drawn to the warm hoods of cars that have been recently parked. It’s advisable to double check to see if any animals are hiding underneath your vehicle.
  • Salt used to melt ice and snow can be irritating to the pads of your dog’s feet. Make sure to wipe your pet’s feet before they have a chance to lick the salt, which can cause irritation to the mouth.
  • Always supervise your pet while near driveways, garages, or roads where they could come in contact with harmful chemicals such as antifreeze. Many companies have added bittering agents to deter pets from consuming it, but even products without bittering agents are extremely dangerous to pets.

Keep in mind, every pet has a different level of tolerance to cold weather, but in general if it is uncomfortably cold for us, it is likely uncomfortable for pets as well. Call us immediately if your dog or cat is experiencing a cold weather-related emergency.