Guide to Dog Safety During Cold Weather.
You’re undoubtedly well aware of the dangers that come with leaving pets in hot cars in warm weather. But did you realise that animals’ health is seriously endangered by the cold? Pets and livestock can both be in danger.
Know The Limits
Have you given your pet a preventive care exam (or wellness exam) yet? Some medical disorders, such as arthritis, may get worse in the cold. It’s a good idea to get your pet checked out now to make sure (s)he is as prepared and healthy as possible for the upcoming cold weather. Your pet should be evaluated by a veterinarian at least once each year.
During the winter, cats and dogs should be kept indoors. It’s a myth that because of their coats, dogs and cats are more tolerant of cold temperatures than humans, but this is inaccurate. Like humans, cats and dogs should be kept indoors since they can get frostbite and hypothermia. Huskies and other dogs bred for colder climes have longer hair and thicker coats, making them more tolerant of cold weather. However, no pet should be left outside in below-freezing temperatures for extended periods of time.
Tolerance to cold can vary from pet to pet depending on coat, body fat storage, exercise level, and health, just like it can for people. Consider your pet’s tolerance for chilly weather and make adjustments as necessary. In order to protect you and your dog from potential health concerns brought on by the extreme cold, you should probably cut the length of your walks.
Elderly and arthritic animals may find it more difficult to walk on snow and ice and may be more likely to trip and fall. Although dogs with long hair or thick coats are typically more tolerant of the cold, they nevertheless run the danger of hypothermia. Short-haired animals experience the cold more quickly because they have less insulation, and short-legged animals may also experience the cold more quickly since their stomachs and bodies are more likely to touch snow-covered ground.
Pets who suffer from conditions like diabetes, heart illness, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (like Cushing’s disease) may find it more difficult to control their body temperature and may be more vulnerable to complications from temperature extremes. Pets that are extremely young or very old behave similarly. Consult your veterinarian if you need assistance calculating your pet’s safe temperature range.
Give them options
Just like us, pets prefer cosy places to sleep and may move depending on whether they need more or less heat. Give them a few secure options so they can change where they sleep as needed to suit their needs.
Protect your family
Protect them by making sure your home is fully pet-proofed throughout the winter, when it’s likely that your pet will spend more time inside. When using a space heater near a pet, use caution because they could burn the pet or tip over, perhaps igniting a fire. Make sure your furnace is functioning effectively before the cold season arrives, and install carbon monoxide detectors to protect your entire family from danger. Make sure your pet bird’s cage is away from draughts if you have one.
Check your dog’s paws periodically for injuries or damage caused by the cold, such as bleeding or split paw pads. A sudden lameness while walking could be the result of an injury or ice buildup between the person’s toes. By trimming the hair between your dog’s toes, you might be able to lower the likelihood of iceball collection.
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