Hey Ya’ll! It’s cold out there! Be sure to use some good sense when it comes to your pets. Here are some friendly reminders to help weather this cold weather.
If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for them. Watch out for over exposure to the cold. Dogs and cats can get frostbite at their sensitive thin skinned areas (like ears and tail tips). They can also be susceptible to hypothermia. If they are left outside by accident, or seem disoriented or lethargic after coming in from a long duration outside, be sure to drop us a call.
Paw pads are sensitive. Ice is rough and salt is painful. Avoid heavily salted areas and long walks on rough terrain. Consider products like Musher’s Wax or other non-emollient salves to coat and protect paw pads. Remember we don’t want to break down these calluses – we want to keep them healthy! You may also want to consider booties for your dog. They’ll hate you forever, but be sure to video it when you put them on the first time. Seriously though, treats and positive reinforcement can go a long way. A chewed off booty is an intestinal foreign body in the making so we don’t recommend leaving dogs unattended with booties on.
Coats and jackets have a purpose and so does fur. This is not a good time to groom your dog. Keep the fur coat longer and use those cute fleeces and hoodies for your embarrassed dogs. Video as much as possible.
Keep nails trimmed short. This is a key time of year for ripped nails. Dogs are running in the deep snow and ice and nails catch easily. Nothing is worse than having your yard look like a murder scene when a nail rips and bleeds all over the snow. Keep those nails short and call us if you need a hand making that happen.
Keep baths minimal and simply wipe those feet off when you come in. Bathing dries the skin during an already really drying time of year. You can use humectant shampoos and coat conditioners if needed, but best of all just try to avoid fully bathing your pet during the cold season. Be sure to wipe the ice and salt away from those sensitive feet, however.
Winter = Weight Gain. Many people think their pets are burning more energy keeping their body temperature up so they feed them just a “little bit more”. But beware that all of us are in hibernation mode. Which means none of our pets are getting out much and burning those calories with exercise. It’s not uncommon for us to see substantial weight gain in these winter months. Do your best to keep this minimal as being overweight is hard on the joints and is directly linked to shorter life spans in our pets.
If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help you. Otherwise, bundle up with your dogs and cats and stay warm over the next few months. How lucky we are to have these little furry friends to co-hibernate through the Wisconsin winter!