It is the time of the year when many of us are anxiously anticipating the end of winter, but we must prepare to buckle down for a few more weeks until spring officially arrives. With this in mind, you may not realize it but colder weather and safety measures that are undertaken outdoors during the winter months can be detrimental to our animal friends. Dry and cold air, rain, and snow can contribute to chapped paws as well as itchy and flaky skin. Additionally, salt and other substances used to de-ice sidewalks and surfaces can cause foot soreness for your cat or dog and are toxic if swallowed. Below are a few precautionary steps that can be taken to provide your beloved pet with the utmost care during the wintertime.
- Dry heat is bad for your pet’s skin: make sure your home’s air is humidified to provide moisture.
- Use a towel to dry your pet when they come inside, paying special attention to their paws and in between their toes.
- Trim their hair to minimize chemicals and ice balls that can cling to them.
- Cut down on how often you wash them: bathing your pet too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of dry skin developing.
- Putting booties on their feet or applying petroleum jelly to their paws can improve protection from harmful chemicals.
- Brushing their hair regularly can stimulate blood circulation, in addition to getting rid of dead hair.
Keeping in mind that these are just a few general tips and that every situation is different. Village West Vet is happy to inspect or help prevent any winter-related injuries or illnesses. Call or schedule an appointment for your pet!