Pet talk: Stay warm this winter

As the colder weather approaches, I would like to remind everyone how to prepare for the cold months ahead. If you are a cat owner I strongly urge you to not let them out during the winter.  Personally I prefer my cats to remain indoors all year round, as it is simply safer for them. There are fewer risks this way. However, if you prefer your cat going outside, try to at least bring them in for the colder months. If left outside for too long cats can easily get frostbite when the temperature drops below zero degrees. The most vulnerable spots for a cat to get frost bite are their ears, tip of their tale and toes. They can also become hypothermic, where their temperature drops below normal. The best thing would be to keep your feline friend indoors and provide him/her with a cozy warm bed. An extra tip to help your furry animal stay warm this winter is by putting a soft blanket in the dryer for a couple of minutes and laying it down at his/ her favorite sleeping spot.

If you know of any stray animals that may not have a home, you can provide them shelter by using a new or used plastic storage container, cut a hole on the side of the container, and stuff it with bedding. Bedding material can be old or new blankets or even straw. This way they can get out of the cold wind and protect themselves as best as possible. Also to offer them food as they will need all the energy they can get throughout winter.

Now for dog owners it is a little different as we bring them in and out of the house for their walks and eliminations. Depending on the size of your dog, you will want to use some of the following protections. Little booties exist to protect the dog’s paws from ice, snow and salt that is on the ground. Some dogs may not tolerate booties; therefore you can also purchase a product called "PAW MAGIC". Paw magic is a paste you apply on their foot pads, to help protect them from cracks or cuts the harsh ice can cause. Another protection you can purchase for you canine companion is a winter jacket, to help them stay dry from the snow and cut off any harsh winds. Based on your dogs coat length you can determine whether or not your dog needs one. The shorter the length the more they need protection. But this is not to say a long hair coat dog cannot where a coat, it can also help them to stay nice and dry. And of course if the forecast is calling for extreme cold weather than the best thing for your dog would be to take him/ her out to do their business and come right back in the house. Come visit us at Animal 911 for more tips on how to stay warm with your pets. Stay warm this winter with your fur-babies!

By Emilie Gauthier, RVT

Staffed by caring professionals, Animal 911 Hôpital Vétérinaire is endorsed by their many pets – starting with Dr. W and his four cats: Bubbles, Misia, Bisous and Duszek. Dr. Wybranowski – (Dr. W. for short) has been actively building their practice and range of expertise for 30 years – from his early start in a one-room practice from his home.

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