You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars , but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

When the temperature drops, there are lots of ways you can protect your furry friends. It seems we are going to have a cold winter in our area this year so here are a few quick tips. For more, more information contact us @ 425-255-8676 .

Winter Wellness Checks!
Have you brought in your pet recently for wellness exam (preventive care)? Some conditions get worse in cold weather like arthritis. Pets should be examined atleast once a year for their well being and winter would be a good time to bring them in to ensure they are as ready as they can be for cold weather!

Know how cold is too cold
Each pet has a different tolerance for cold. It can be different based on their breed, amount of fur on them, fat their body stored, and overall health etc. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, please give us a call @ 425-255-8676.

Keep them inside
Like people, cats and dogs are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia and should be kept inside. Not only will they be warmer indoors, they won’t be at risk of being injured, lost, stolen or killed.

Make some noise to check your car for sleeping pets
Who doesn’t warm to be in winter? A warm engine can be really comforting and appealing for feral and outdoor cats. They sometimes may sleep under the hoods of car to keep warm. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or even killed. To prevent this, honk a horn, bang loudly on the hood to give a sleeping cat a chance to escape.

Keep your dog on a leash in snow and ice
More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season. Dogs frequently lose their scent in snow and ice and become lost. They may panic in a snowstorm and run away.

Check on their paws
Cracked paw pads or bleeding can be signs of cold weather injury for your pet. Watch for sudden lameness and any accumulation of ice on their paws. Consider clipping the hair on their hair between their toes to reduce chances of ice accumulation. Give them a good wipe if you see any accumulation!

Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather
Just as the inside of a car left in the summer sun can become unbearably hot in a matter of minutes, a car parked out in the cold can act as a refrigerator in the winter, can cool down really fast and your companion animal could freeze to death.

Dress for weather!
Dress for weather is equally true for pets. While this may seem like a luxury it is a necessity for many dogs, particularly short-haired breeds. Consider having couple on hand to have one always ready if they got outside and get it wet or messy. Look for one with a high collar or turtleneck that covers your dog from the base of her tail on top and to the belly underneath.

Beware of antifreeze, a lethal poison for dogs and cats
Animals are attracted to antifreeze because of its sweet taste, but even in very tiny doses it is a lethal poison for dogs and cats. Thoroughly clean up any spills from your car and, to prevent accidental poisonings, use animal-friendly products that contain propylene glycol rather than the traditional products containing ethylene glycol. Make sure to read the ice melt label carefully and ensure it is pet-safe!

If you suspect your animal has been poisoned, call your veterinarian or contact the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center on 800.548.2423.

Recognize early signs of problem
If your pet is whining, shivering, seems anxious, slows down or stops moving, seems weak, or starts looking for warm places to burrow, get them back inside quickly because they are showing signs of hypothermia. Frostbite is harder to detect and may not be fully recognized until a few days after the damage is done. If you suspect your pet has hypothermia or frostbite, contact your pet care team at Renton Veterinary Hospital immediately!

Be prepared for harsh weather
Pets need preparedness when it comes to blizzards, severe winter weather, and power outages as much as we do. Keep some extra protection for them as well as food, water, and medicine!

Please Contact Renton Veterinary Hospital if you have more questions on how to best help your pets in cold weather!