With the arrival of cold temperatures, Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association offers some tips to keep your family’s dog healthy and happy in the midst of winter’s chill.
- Dogs with certain medical conditions and those who are very young or very old may be overly sensitive to temperature extremes and cold weather. A preventive wellness check-up can help keep your dog comfortable by treating underlying health issues.
- Know your pet’s limits. Depending on your animal’s coat, weight, and health, he may have less tolerance for cold weather than you do. Adjust your walks and daily exercise accordingly.
- Do a paw check. Remove ice balls, watch pads for signs of cracking, and wipe down your dog’s feet to remove de-icers, antifreeze, and other potential toxins.
- Provide adequate shelter. If your dog has to be outdoors, offer a house with clean, dry bedding positioned off the ground and the door facing away from prevailing winds.
- Be prepared with a stocked emergency kit that includes your pet’s food and medications.
- Recognize problems. Signs of hypothermia in dogs include whining, shivering, anxiety, weakness, and seeking out warm places to burrow. If you think your dog is developing hypothermia, take them indoors and call your veterinarian.
If you have any concerns about your dog’s health this winter, give your veterinarian a call. If you don’t have a veterinarian, you can find one close to you using the Find-A-Vet tool at www.tvmanet.com.
Article submitted by the Tennessee Veterinary Medical Association.