Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.
Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather.
Winter Wellness for Your Pets
Has your pet had her wellness exam yet? Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis.
Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get her checked out to make sure she is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
Know Their Limits
Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You may need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks.
- Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice, and may be more prone to slipping and falling.
- Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather.
- Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection.
- Short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground.
- Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes.
- The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.