Cold Weather Tips for Healthier, Happier Pets

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Winter is upon us, and cold weather is here…so how can you keep your pet happy and healthy during the chilly winter months? Here are some tips to help make sure that your furry friend stays warm:

·   Never leave your dog or cat outside in the cold weather. Your companion animal could suffer from frostbite or freeze to death. See your veterinarian immediately if you suspect frostbite or hypothermia.

·   Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep. If kept outside, animals should have a dry, draft-free shelter large enough to stand and turn around in, yet small enough to retain body heat. However, it is best for all pets to remain inside.

·   Bring pets inside if the temperature dips to or below zero degrees. Wind chill can threaten an animal’s life, so only take your pet outdoors for exercise and potty breaks.

·   Before starting your car, bang loudly on the hood or honk the horn to avoid injuring a hidden animal. During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes will crawl up inside a car engine to seek warmth.

·   Thoroughly wipe your dog’s paws, legs and stomach after being outside in sleet, snow or ice. Salt, antifreeze and other chemicals can irritate their skin, as well as hurt your pet if ingested.

·   Increase your pet’s food supply up to 25 percent if he engages in a lot of outdoor activities. Also, routinely check your pet’s outdoor water dish to ensure that it is fresh and unfrozen.

·   Also, be sure your pet gets plenty of love and attention!

For more pet tips, visit www.kyhumane.org or call (502) 366-3355.   
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