7 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe During Colder Months

Even though the weather here in beautiful Beaufort is usually quite balmy, there is occasional cold weather during the months of December through February.

And, even though we don’t have snow, the colder weather that we do have can still pose a problem for our furry, four-legged friends. Just because they’re coated with fur doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily stay warm and safe.

Here are some precautions you can take to make sure that your pets stay safe and healthy during the colder weather:

  1. Cold weather check up: Take your pets to the veterinarian for a check up before the cold weather sets in so your veterinarian can make sure they do not have any underlying medical problems that will make the colder weather unbearable for them.
  2. Keep in mind that very young and very elderly pets have a harder time regulating their body temperatures, so make sure they have plenty of warm bedding and, when possible, keep them indoors during the colder weather.
  3. Be particularly conscious of arthritic pets. When the weather gets colder, they will most likely be a lot more uncomfortable and their joints more stiff and painful. When walking them outside, support them as much as possible. A slip on a wet or icy deck or loss of footing on some stairs can lead to a painful fall and could end in a significant injury.
  4. If your pets have water bowls outside make sure to keep an eye on them and that the water in them has not frozen. If the water in your pet’s bowl has frozen and they cannot drink from it, then they may look for water elsewhere, including puddles that could be polluted with toxins including oil, anti freeze and other harmful chemicals.
  5. Cats tend to curl up against anything to stay warm in the colder weather and this includes the engines of cars and trucks. A cat that gets caught in a moving engine can suffer serious injuries and can even be killed. Before you crank up your vehicle, check beneath the vehicle or make a lot of noise, like honking the horn or banging on the hood to make sure your engine is free and clear of any cats cozying up to stay warm.
  6. When you’re outside with your pets during the colder months simply watch for signs that they are not enjoying the cold, like shivering, whining or crying, if they seem anxious, or stop moving and begin looking for somewhere warmer to be. Remember…if you’re cold enough to go back inside, then it’s probably too cold for your pet to stay outside much longer as well.
  7. If you and your pet are going to be spending a little time outside, if they will tolerate it, put a little sweater on them, especially small breeds. Not only will they be cute as can be, they will always stay warm!

As the weather continues to get a little cooler here in Beaufort and we want to be outside a little more with our pets, just keep in mind some of these things to keep your furry friend happy and healthy. And remember…a warm, happy pet is a snuggly pet!

Written by Sea Island Animal Hospital