Cold-Weather Canines: A Few Tips for Protecting Pets in Winter

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dogbundledThe cold temperatures in Baltimore this week may give way to snow. That means you probably won’t feel like taking the dog for a walk. Of course, we’ll have to take them, anyway. While you bundle up to head out, don’t forget to take precautions for the canines and other pets who will be shivering, too. Here are a few considerations for pet care in cold weather, courtesy of the Baltimore Humane Society:

Keep Them Warm If you’re cold, then pets are cold, too, according to BHS. For one, that means to avoid taking them out for long periods of time. If they do have to stay inside, grab an indoor ball to play with to keep them from getting too stir-crazy. If we do end up getting snowed in, it’s easy to see this end up being mutually beneficial.

Bundle Up When pets do go outside, bundle them up.In the case of dogs with short coats or no undercoat, a jacket is recommended. Proper grooming will also help with warmth.

Protect the Paws The stuff we use to keep our cars on the road all winter isn’t great for pets. Road salt and antifreeze in particular are dangerous to pets. Road salt is painful for paws, and can be toxic if ingested. Along with avoiding it, BHS recommends to wipe your pet’s paws with a warm rag when you make it back inside. One way to protect is coating their paws with petroleum jelly before venturing out. Antifreeze tastes sweet to pets, but it can be poisonous. If it’s in the garage, keep it out of their reach, and be sure to clean up any drips. Call the vet right away if you believe a pet ingested it.

Watch for Hypothermia If a pet does get in trouble, take action. Pets can get hypothermia if they’re exposed to cold temperatures for a long time. Some signs include low heart rate, slowed breathing, pale gums and excessive shivering. If your pet is experiencing hypothermia, warm them slowly. And call a vet.



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