Winter has finally arrived in Austin! While our city is better known for its dangerously hot summers, cold weather can also be a problem for dogs and cats. If it’s too cold for you to spend much time outside, it’s too cold for your pet! We’ve put together some helpful tips for keeping your pets safe as the temperatures drop.
Keep Pets Inside
As we approach freezing temperatures, you need to make sure you bring outside dogs and cats indoors. All pets are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite, even cold weather breeds like Huskies and St. Bernards. Consider it a chance to spend more time with your pet!
Check Under the Hood
If your neighbors don’t love their cats as much as you do, they may not bring them inside during the winter. Before you start your engine on a cold morning, knock on your hood and check under your car to make sure there aren’t any cats stowed away in a dangerous place seeking warmth.
Know Your Pet’s Limits
If you were on a walk with a human friend who was shivering and miserable, you’d probably go inside, right? Pets should be treated the same way. If you notice your pet shivering, whining or looking exhausted, it’s time to head home. Dogs with short coats aren’t going to be as cold weather hearty as dogs with longer coats. Likewise, short-legged dogs that scrape their bellies on the snow and cold ground are going to lose temperature more quickly than larger dogs. If you’ve got a Dachshund, it’s not a good idea to go on a long, snowy walk.
Pet sweaters aren’t just adorable, they’re also functional. If your pet is particularly susceptible to cold weather, be sure wrap him or her up in a coat or sweater. When you’re inside, make sure your pet has a cozy place to sleep with plenty of blankets.
Don’t Leave Your Pet in the Car
The dangers of leaving a pet in a hot car are well documented, but a cold car can be equally life-threatening. Unless your pet has to come with you, leave your furry friend at home.
Watch for Chemicals
We don’t get too much ice here in Austin, but deicers, antifreeze and other cold weather chemicals can pose a serious risk to pets. Be sure to store all of your chemicals carefully and clean up any spills. If you encounter something you don’t recognize on a walk, clean it off of your pet.
Get a Check Up!
We recommend comprehensive exams twice a year, and there’s no time like the present. Your ZippiVet veterinarian may identify problems with circulation, hormones or joints that could be exacerbated by cold weather if not treated correctly. Always remember that pet wellness is a year-round endeavor so come see your favorite pet hospital in Austin, TX!