Pets and freezing weather

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Just because our pets have fur-covered bodies, doesn’t mean they aren’t susceptible to damage from freezing temperatures that Wisconsin brings in the winter! Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. As Dr. Anna likes to say, ” If it’s uncomfortable for you to be outside, it’s uncomfortable for your pets to be outside.”

Have you ever seen your pet holding their feet up or chewing at their paws while out in freezing temperatures? This is a sign of them being too cold and is very important to get them back inside to avoid frostbite! Also, if you see your pet shivering and/or shaking, it could be an early sign of hypothermia setting in- so get them to a warmer environment ASAP!

Often times throughout the winter a heavy amount of salt coats our roads and sidewalks to make the surfaces less slippery. This salt, however, can be harmful to our pets! It can cause irritation to their paws and also irritates their insides if they ingest the salt by licking their paws.

How to Avoid Frostbite

– Frostbite tends to involve the tail, ear tips, and pads of feet because these are the areas that have the least amount of fur.

– When temperatures are close to freezing or below, limit your pets’ time outside to just a few minutes at a time. Frostbite can happen very quickly in dangerously cold temps!

– Placing “booties” on your pets feet may help protect against the cold and salt from winter. You can find them at most pet stores or retail stores.

They make pet boots for all pet sizes!

– You can also try paw waxes or balms from the pet store to help protect the feet from the elements.

 

 IF YOU BELIEVE YOUR PET MAY BE EXPERIENCING FROSTBITE, PLEASE CALL TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT AT THE CLINIC!