Is your pet protected for winter?

Local Pet Valu Slave Lake Animal Care Team

Even though dogs and cats are covered in fur, they can feel cold and uncomfortable during the winter. These safety tips will help your pet stay safe and warm this winter season.

Get extra protection
Most dogs love playing outside in the winter. Their fur coats offer some protection, but many breeds are not meant to be outside in sub-zero temperatures, especially breeds with short hair. A coat will help. Look for one with a waterproof shell and a cozy fleece inner layer.

As cats can suffer from hypothermia or frostbite, a cat that is used to going outdoors should be kept indoors more during the winter and particularly on cold days. If your cat is going outdoors, you can provide extra food during the winter so it can bulk-up to fight the cold. However, check with your vet before changing your cat’s diet. Also provide an outdoor shelter that offers protection from the wind and snow.

Watch out for salt
Even the hardiest sled dogs wear boots in the winter, and an urban dog needs them even more, as salt used to de-ice sidewalks causes dogs’ paws to dry out, crack and bleed. Applying a paw protector before your dog goes outside will provide a moisturizing wax barrier between your dog’s paws and the elements. Also be sure to always wipe excess salt off your dog’s paws when they come back in the house.

In addition to hurting your pet’s paws, salt contains potentially dangerous chemicals, such as chlorine, which pets may inadvertently lick off their paws. Opt for a pet-safe de-icing product, which uses a biodegradable formula instead of harmful chemicals, to melt the ice outside your home.

Make sure your pet is visible

Winter brings long, dark nights so a reflective collar, collar attachment or leash are an absolute necessity. You can get them for both cats and dogs ensuring that they are visible late at night or early morning.

Groom your pet more frequently
Dry winter air, both outside and in your home, will dry out your pet’s coat, causing painful matting and itchy, flaky skin. Regular brushing, shampooing and trimming prevent these problems from occurring and will keep their coat healthier.

If you have any questions about keeping your pet safe, warm and comfortable this winter, drop by your Pet Valu on Main Street and speak to one of our Animal Care Experts.

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