bernese-230560 wideKeeping your pets warm and comfortable in cold weather conditions is important. The cold weather can be difficult for everyone in Sedalia, MO but your pet doesn’t have to be uncomfortable or suffer the consequences. Follow these tips to protect your cats, dogs, and horses from the harsh weather and ensure their overall health and safety.

Animals can suffer from frost bite or hypothermia if the temperature drops significantly and they are left outside. Their ears, nose, and paws (or any other exposed area) should be covered for protection from the wind and cold. When the temperature drops you typically want to keep your pets indoors. However, dogs enjoy walks at anytime of the year. Walks should be a part of their daily routine at all times of the year but can be shortened in the winter. Smaller dogs and short haired dogs can wear a jacket or sweater to maintain the correct body temperature as well. Horses should be kept in a warm, dry, stable and are usually draped with a blanket to help trap heat.

A dry environment that is protected from the wind and elements should be maintained for any pets that spend a lot of time outdoors. They require more food and water during the winter months to stay warm because cold weather will deplete their energy faster as they try to maintain a normal body temperature. Use plastic food and water bowls. Your pet’s tongue and nose can stick to metal when the temperature drops and this sometimes prevents their food and water from freezing as well. Horses require food and water around the clock during winter months.

Road and sidewalk salt can be harmful to your pet’s paws, so be conscious of areas that are heavily salted. The chemicals can be painful and irritate their paws, which often causes pets to lick their paws for relief. This is dangerous due to the chemicals found in road and sidewalk. Try to use pet friendly salt around your house and wipe your pet’s paws anytime they come back into the house to prevent discomfort and keep them away from chemicals.

Antifreeze has a sweet taste and can be very harmful or even fatal to pets. All household chemicals should be kept out of reach in a closed cabinet. Coolants made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family. However, propylene glycol can still cause health problems for your pet and should be locked away as well. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations and read each product label carefully.

Call Thompson Hills Animal Clinic in Sedalia, MO to set up an appointment or speak to one of our staff members about protecting your pet during the winter months.