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7 Ways to Protect Your Pet From Winter Hazards

Many believe animals are more resilient to freezing weather thanks to their fur. In reality, they are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, too. Winter is a season of numbing wetness and bitter cold in many areas. Ensure your furry companion stays warm and safe by following these guidelines. 


Know the Signs of Hypothermia and Frostbite

Hypothermia and frostbite in pets can be potentially life-threatening. Signs of hypothermia in pets include shivering, lethargy, difficulty breathing, and a drop in body temperature. If your furry friend shows signs of hypothermia, bring them inside and wrap them in a warm blanket. If you suspect your pet may have frostbite, gently warm the affected area with a warm cloth and seek veterinary care immediately.


Wipe Down and Bundle Up

Winter weather can be harsh on pets, especially those with short hair or thin coats. To help keep your pet warm and comfortable, provide a warm, dry place for them to sleep, such as a cozy bed or crate.

You can also consider using a pet-safe heating pad or blanket to provide extra warmth. Ensure your pet has access to plenty of fresh, non-frozen water, and use a heated water bowl to prevent the water from freezing.


Protect Your Pet's Paws

Snow, ice, and salt can harm your pet's paws. These substances can cause cracking, irritation, and even frostbite. Consider using paw protectors or booties to protect your four-legged friend's paws. 

These products can help keep their paws warm and protected and can also help prevent slipping on icy surfaces. Remember to wipe their paws after a walk to remove any salt or deicing chemicals stuck to them.


Keep Common Poisons Out of Your Pet's Reach

Antifreeze is a toxic substance that can kill pets if ingested. Its sweetness can be attractive to pets, so it is best to keep it out of reach. If you spill antifreeze, clean it up immediately and store the product securely. If your pet ingests it, seek veterinary treatment immediately.


Keep Your Pet Sheltered

Avoid leaving your pet outside for long periods: While some pets may enjoy spending time outdoors, limiting their exposure to the cold is essential. If your pet must spend time outside, ensure they have access to a warm, dry shelter and plenty of food and water. 


Keep Your Pet on a Leash

Snow and ice can make it difficult for your pet to navigate. As a pet parent, you do not want your furry family member to lose their way home. So, it might be best to keep them on a leash or in a fenced area for safety. If you need to take your pet for a walk in the snow, ensure the leash is short enough to keep them close but long enough to allow them some freedom of movement.


Update Your Pet's ID

A current ID tag or a microchip can help reunite you with your lost pet as quickly as possible. Remember to update your contact information, too. It is also an excellent idea to have a current photograph of your pet in case you need to create flyers or post on social media to help locate them.

Winter is the perfect time to share quality time and snuggle up with your furry friend. However, it can also be a dangerous time for pets. So, it is essential to take extra precautions to protect your pet. 

For more pet care tips, visit El Paso Animal Emergency at our El Paso, Texas, office. Call (915) 545-1148 to schedule an appointment today.

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