Keeping Pets Safe in the Cold

Winter in the Midwest means quickly falling temperatures. There are a number of things you can do to keep your pets safe and warm during this year's cold season.

Start by making sure your pets are well groomed for the season. A matted coat is not only uncomfortable for an animal, but it also loses its insulating ability.

Keeping your pet's toe nails and feet trimmed between the pads and toes will help keep snow from collecting there. 

Smaller dogs and those with light coats may benefit from coats or booties to help them keep the chill out.  For dogs that won't tolerate booties, there is a product called Musher's Secret that can help their feet.  It is a protective cream that can be spread on the pads of your pet's feet to create a protective barrier between their feet and the cold snow and ice. Carver Lake has a selection of all of these products.

Dogs and cats are not immune to hypothermia (low body temperature) or frostbite and should not be left outdoors for extended periods of time, especially when the temperature drops below freezing.

Signs of hypothermia include shivering, lethargy, and shallow breathing. Frostbite is more common on paws, ears, tails, and genitals. The affected area will appear pale and cool at first and then red, swollen, and painful as thawing begins.

Young animals and those with underlying diseases are most at risk. Hypothermia and frostbite require immediate attention by a veterinarian.

Just because the weather is cold doesn't mean all outdoor activity needs to end.  Just keep in mind that if you are cold, so is your pet.  By providing them with the appropriate grooming and clothing you can enjoy the outdoors with them all year long.