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Winter Weather and Your Pets

If I’m cold out here and you are than your pet probably is too, but it’s not just the temperature that can be harmful.

Our pets can even pickup some popular bad habits that we fall into during winter that can follow them after the snow melts.

Messy roads covered in snow and icy sidewalks don’t just make it hard for people to get around, winter weather is also rough on our pets from ice building up on their paws to road salt sticking to them.

“Particularly in our older K9 patients who may have trouble getting around normally and then when you add snow and ice they can really struggle out there and for a lot of them it’s difficult and even painful for them ”

Dr. Johanna Vena with Cambria Veterinary Care says even puppies can have a hard time going out for a walk in the winter and if you’re not sure whether they’re just not a fan of putting their paws in the snow or are in pain, take them to the vet.

“Some dogs in particular are bred to be in the cold weather and they tolerate it very well. but a lot of our pets are just not cut out to be in the cold so obviously if you see them shivering or acting painful that they don’t want to put their feet in the ice or the snow if they’re wanting back in it probably is too cold for them”

Just like people, our pets can put on a few pounds in the winter Dr. Vena says if your dog is less active in the colder months then you should cut back on the kibble and treats.

“Obesity in our pets is already an epidemic in this area and a lot of people think it’s acceptable for their dogs to gain a few pounds in the winter. but in reality that’s not healthy for them and it often starts to trend towards obesity, which is just unhealthy in our dogs as it is in our humans”

And shedding a few pounds isn’t just for your dogs physical health.

“It’s very important for our younger dogs who are if they aren’t getting that exercise a lot time that leads to behavioral problems and destructive behavior so even when it’s cold and snowy outside these puppies need exercise”

Dogs aren’t the only pets impacted by how cold it is out here Dr. Vena says if you see a cat outside and are able to safely catch it, bring it to a shelter so it can stay warm.

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