Frigid winter temps and how they affect your pet (posted Mon. 1/18/16)

Winter Care Tips for Dog Owners

Dogs need regular outdoor exercise. Choose daylight hours in winter whenever possible. At Grandview Animal Hospital we recommend you follow these rules if you have to walk your dog in the dark:

  • Keep your dog on a leach unless in a totally traffic-free area.
  • Wear reflective clothing and carry a flashlight.
  • Get your dog a glowing/ flashing collar and leach and other safety devices to aid visibility, particularly if your dog is dark haired. We find that flashing lights designed for bicycle use work really well for this and they are sometime easier to find then pet specific items.

Gearing up for winter
If you walk your dog in the snow, or when the temperature is below freezing, make sure you...

  • Towel dry your dog as soon as you get home or use a hairdryer on a low setting held some distance away. Keep the hairdryer moving as you would for yourself.
  • Consider getting a winter coat for dogs with thin, fine hair, or those that are getting older, or those suffering with joint problems.

DO NOT let your dog stay outside in freezing temperatures for a lengthy period without access to shelter and warmth.

Winter Care tips for Cat owners

Keep your cat in, but keep it active
Ideally, keep your cat in at night to reduce the risk of road traffic accidents. Stop it from becoming a bored couch potato by keeping it active with games you can get involved in...

  • Introduce new games and toys to exercise your cat’s body and mind.
  • Give them activity centers, safe cat mobiles and scratching posts as winter diversions.

What to do if you suspect hypothermia
Act quickly and correctly, this could save your pet’s life:

  • Immediately remove your pet from the cold. Take them into warm, but not hot, surroundings: warming up too quickly can be harmful.
  • Call us at Grandview Animal Hospital @ 816-761-5071,
  • After hours contact Blue Pearl Emergency Vet @ 913-642-956
  • Dry them gently with a towel if they are wet.
  • Gradually raise your pet’s body temperature:
    Either use a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel.
    Or use a hair dryer on a low heat, keep it a moving and hold it at a distance from your pet’s fur, as you would for yourself.
  • We will probably advise bringing your pet in for an appointment. It’s important to do this, even if your pet seems to have recovered.