Categories: Wellness & Care
Winter Weather Tips For Your Pet
This winter season has been record setting, with the San Antonio area seeing temperatures in the 20’s and snow for the first time in years! While we may enjoy the cooler weather, please remember your furry family members may not be acclimated to the chilly, freezing temperature.
At Perrin-410, we asked our team of Veterinarians for their professional advice on what pet owners should be aware of as we continue through a frigid winter into a warmer spring.
Inside is Best
When the weather falls below freezing temperatures, all pets should be brought inside if you’re able to do so. San Antonio is notorious for seeing freezing rain and combined with the cold weather, this duo can lead to hypothermia or pneumonia, both of which are deadly if left untreated. It’s a common misunderstanding that your pets fur keeps them warm and safe from the cold weather. While it is true that longer haired and thicker coated pets are in fact more adapted to the colder weather, no pet should have to stay outside for long periods of time.
If your pet is unable to be brought inside, make sure you have choices for them to seek cover and stay warm. Dog Igloos are a popular choice. Their unique shape and design allow for a pet to curl up inside, warming the space with their own body heat. It’s a good idea to also provide your pet with hay or bedding of some kind to help keep them warm and dry in the igloo. If you are not able to provide a dog igloo for your pet, make sure their dog house has 3 sides, a roof and is elevated up off the ground with the entrance pointing away from the wind.
Outdoor cats will often seek shelter in the warmth of your car engine or tires. Typically, cats will leave your car when they hear you approach or get inside. There are, however, unfortunate times where that’s not the case. A car engine gets hot extremely quick and can severely injure or kill a cat trapped inside. A good habit to adopt is to simply knock a couple times on the hood of your car to help scare any stowaways out.
Dress them up
Short coated and smaller breeds are more susceptible to the cooler weather. Consider purchasing a pet sweater or coat for them to wear on their walks or when they’re outside. The material will help keep their body heat trapped and makes them very stylish as well!
Just like with humans, the cooler weather can be hard on your pet’s joints and bones, upsetting arthritis and other medical conditions. Be vigilant of your pet’s health during the winter months and if you notice anything out of the ordinary, call or come in to Perrin-410 Animal Hospital right away!
Collar and Chip
Your pet should always have their collar on them with a tag of updated identification no matter the time of the year. However, collars can break easily if your pet escapes or becomes loose. A more permanent way of identification is a microchip, a small device implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. If a pet is found, they can be taken to any veterinarian hospital or local animal shelter to be scanned for a microchip. It is critical that you keep your pets microchip information up to date to ensure they come home to you!