Should the worst happen, Nor Cal Vet is ready 24/7 to care for your injured pet. Prevention is easier on everybody, so, try these ideas:
#1. Know Your Pet’s Limits
A Siberian Husky is vastly different than a Mexican Chihuahua, that’s obvious. What about an Alsatian versus German shepherd or a calico versus a manx? Some animals are more cold-sensitive than others, and even in-breed, age and general health makes a huge difference. (Speaking of age, drop by our rehabilitation page to see what we offer older pets.)
If your pet enjoys playing outside, let them — they need exercise in winter as much as summer — but keep your eyes open. A doggie sweater or kittie coat can also help immensely.
#2. Watch the Paws
Dogs, especially, may need booties to keep their pads warm, and clean. When you walk them, their feet may pick up ice melt pellets or other possible toxins. You should clean Rover’s toes when you get home, instead of letting them lick that stuff off. Also, get them a collar or chip and keep them leashed; bad weather will hide scents that lead them home, if you become separated.
#3. Keep them Indoors
Even the shaggiest dogs will appreciate the warmth as much as you do. Bring them inside during really cold periods. For other times, provide them shelter — off the ground, with wood chips or other insulation, and plastic food bowls instead of metal.
#4. Sound Off
Your car might be the warmest place your pet (or any animal) can find in winter. Honk your horn or rev the engine before putting it into gear, an animal in the wheel well or under the hood will take off fast. Otherwise, it could get ugly.
#5. Ready the House for Your Pet
Your pet will likely indoors more in winter, so make sure your house is properly pet-proofed. Your pets might like the warmth of a space heater, you won’t enjoy what happens if it gets knocked over. Keep birdcages away from drafts and make sure your lizard lamp is keeping the terrarium warm enough.
#6. Assume the Worst
Severe winter weather commonly takes down power lines. Does your disaster/emergency kit include your pet? Have you got food, water and medicine (especially prescriptions and preventives) on hand to get through at least a week?
#7. Leave Pets Home
If you can. Like summer, cars can get very cold very fast in winter. Like your children, don’t leave your pets unattended, even for a minute. If you’re traveling with pets, discuss arrangements with those you’ll be visiting.
And, in every season, make Nor Cal Vet your first choice. Like human healthcare, pet care is advancing. Nor Cal Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Hospital will always provide the best medical care available in modern veterinary medicine.