Winter Pet Care Tips from Your Wichita Veterinarians

Brrr! It’s cold outside! Do you think you’re cold? So are your dog and cat. Your pets might be covered in fur, but that doesn’t mean they are immune to freezing temperatures, ice, and snow. Your animals depend on you to keep them safe and warm in the winter. Don’t let them down! Our Wichita veterinarians have several winter safety tips to help protect your faithful, furry pals.

The Wichita Veterinarians of Cimarron Animal Hospital Want to Help Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

Winter Veterinary Exams

Cold weather can aggravate existing conditions in your pet such as arthritis – especially in older animals. Winter is the perfect time to take your pet to the animal hospital for a routine checkup. Our Wichita veterinarians will make sure your dog or cat is healthy, and help determine treatment plans to assure their winter safety!

Pets Get Cold Too!

Dogs and cats come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and breeds. These factors greatly affect their tolerance to the cold. Older pets are at higher risk for slipping and falling on ice. Pets suffering from arthritis or heart disease have more difficulty regulating their body temperature. Smaller animals and those with short hair tend to get cold faster. Larger animals with thick coats stay warm longer; however, they also need protection from freezing temperatures. It’s important to pay attention to how the cold affects your pet and make the necessary adjustments. If you put your animal in "pet sweaters," change them regularly to make sure they are not damp or wet. Go for shorter walks and make sure your pets have protection from the elements. Their lives depend on it! Watch for signs of discomfort, hypothermia and frostbite. If your pet exhibits symptoms, please contact our Wichita veterinarians immediately.

Get Cozy Indoors

Do not leave your dog or cat outside in below-freezing temperatures for extended periods of time. Their “fur coat” only gives them so much protection. Huskies and malamutes are bred for cold conditions, but all animals have their limits. With too much exposure, your pets can be susceptible to frostbite, hypothermia and death. Give your companion a break by bringing them inside your house once in a while. This is especially important for smaller and older animals.

Give Your Animal Shelter

If your pet is spending any time outside, they will need a dry and warm shelter for protection against the wind, ice, snow, and cold. The entrance should be facing away from the direction of the wind. Their outdoor shelter needs to be insulated with hay, blankets, cushions, and anything else that keeps them warm. Avoid space heaters, lamps, and electric blankets, which can cause serious burns. Animals like variety so give them a couple of different shelter options if possible. Provide constant access to fresh drinking water and regularly change water bowls that have frozen over.

Outdoor Activities

Shorten your walks when it gets cold outside. Keep your pet away from frozen antifreeze spills to avoid poisoning, and make sure there are no sleeping cats underneath your car before starting your engine. Stay away from frozen bodies of water when walking your dog. There are countless tragic stories that involve a dog falling through the ice and their owner jumping in after to save them. It often ends with the deaths of both the dog and the owner. Use a leash and stay away from ponds, lakes, and rivers in the winter.

For more information about pet safety and treatments, please contact the Wichita veterinarians of Cimarron Animal Hospital. Our vet clinic is dedicated to helping you and your pet live happy and healthy lives together!

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