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Cold Weather Tips for Pet Owners

Below Normal Temperatures

The freezing weather creates some unique problems for pet owners, especially in Georgia where we are not used to such cold temperatures. We may not be aware of the special needs of our pets since our winters are not usually so cold. This winter is exceptionally frigid, and we have had large amounts of snow as well. So, we have put together a few tips to help you and your pets get through this unusual winter.

Provide shelter outside against the wind during cold spells.

Tips for Pet Owners on Keeping Pets Safe in Cold Weather

  • Provide shelter outside against the wind during cold spells. Make sure your pets have access to non-frozen water.
  • Better yet, keep pets inside. Cats and dogs are not more resistant than people to the cold weather because of their fur. They too are susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia, and they should not be left out for a long period of time in below-freezing temperatures.
  • Provide a comfortable sleeping place off the floor and away from drafts. A dog or cat bed will keep your pet comfortable.
  • Cold Weather Tips for Pet OwnersCheck for cracked paw pads or bleeding from the cold weather. Petroleum jelly or other paw protectors can be applied to help protect the paws from salt and chemical agents you may have used to keep your walkways free of ice or snow.
  • Put a coat on your dog when taking it out for a walk. If you leave the dog out with a coat on, make sure it is not wet making your dog even colder.
  • Avoid bathing your pet during cold spells as bathing removes essential oils and increases the chance of developing dry, flaky skin.
  • Make sure to microchip your pets and have tags with your contact information in case they get lost in cold weather.
  • You may be aware of the dangers of leaving a dog in a hot car in the summer, but winter cold can be just as dangerous. Never leave your dog alone in the car in the winter.
  • Antifreeze keeps your car from freezing up but it can kill your pets. Make sure to immediately clean up any spills and watch for leakage because even a small amount of antifreeze can be deadly.
  • Before starting your car or truck, bang on the hood or make some noise. Outdoor cats and feral cats may have taken refuge next to a warm engine. Check underneath the vehicle, honk the horn and make any kind of noise that will encourage cats to get away safely before you start the engine.
  • Feed your pet a little more during a cold snap because pets burn extra energy to stay warm.

Cats may climb under a car or truck hood to keep warm next to a car’s engine. Check underneath the vehicle, honk the horn and make any kind of noise that will encourage cats to get away safely before you start the engine.

Bottom Line on Cold Weather and Pets

If it is too cold for you to be outside, it is most likely too cold for your pet. Pets left outside can freeze, become disoriented, lost or injured. Be smart and keep your pets safe. North Fulton Feed & Seed has a wide variety of pet foods, dog beds and supplies to keep your pets safe during our cold snap.

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