Baby, It’s Cold Outside

To borrow from a popular book and television series, winter is definitely coming. As the temperatures drop, it’s important to keep an eye on our furry friends. Cold weather can cause all kinds of health issues. The good news, though, is that they’re easy to prevent.
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Shelter From The Storm
It’s a bad idea to leave a pet outside in the cold for long periods of time, and a doubly bad idea if they don’t have adequate shelter. Taking the wind-chill into account, it’s much colder out there than the temperature might indicate. This is a recipe for both frostbite and hypothermia. We’ve seen more than one short-statured male dog for some very uncomfortable frost bite. Ears, toes, and tails are also susceptible, as are the wattles on chickens. A little prevention through limiting outside time, and providing a warm shelter can head off trouble.

Constant Vigilance
Pay special attention while walking your dog near icy lakes and ponds. They don’t instinctively know where the thin and rotten patches of ice are. They could easily fall through, or slip on the ice and injure themselves.

Water, Water Everywhere
Pets get dehydrated just as easily in winter as they do in summer. It’s vital to provide fresh (unfrozen) water at all times. In fact, dehydration plays a major role in hypothermia. When an animal gets dehydrated, their blood volume goes down. This means their body can’t circulate enough blood to their muscles and organs to keep them functioning and warm. It’s a quick trip to serious illness.

I Feel Pretty, Oh So Pretty
Pets need to be well-groomed for their fur to insulate them properly. This doesn’t necessarily mean baths, but it does mean plenty of brushing. Fortunately, there are reasonably priced groomers here in Emmett to help you keep up with that if you find yourself short on time.

Clothes Make The… Dog?
There are all kinds of protective wear for small and hairless breeds of dog (and cats!). I know, I know, for some people it can feel a little odd to put clothes on a pet. However, there are styles to fit every budget and preference, from utilitarian to playful. It can make the difference between comfort and shivering.

My Aching Bones
Most pets need a little extra bedding to nuzzle into when it starts to get cold. For indoor pets, especially older ones, heated beds and blankets can be the difference between suffering through arthritis, and being comfortable. There are several good options on the market, including heated throw blankets for humans. Sometimes the human version is cheaper than a specialized version for pets. If your pet seems to be achy in spite of being provided warmth, we have some excellent arthritis treatments available. You’ll be amazed at the difference they can make. Feel free to call us today if you’d like to set up an appointment, or have questions.

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