Here we are just a little over a week away from the first official day of winter! Time for hot chocolate, cozy blankets, fires in the fireplace, and all the other snuggley, warm activities of winter. While you’re dragging out your winter wardrobe and electric blankets, you may want to take a minute to think about any changes you may need to make for your pets as well.
For older pets, or pets with joint problems, you may want to discuss a joint supplement with your veterinarian. The cold weather can make your pets’ joints achy and stiff. This is especially true for pets that already have joint issues or dogs that are older. A joint supplement could help alleviate the discomfort and could help improve your pet’s mobility.
You may also be thinking about stashing the heartworm prevention and flea and tick prevention medications, but don’t! Here in Northern Virginia, we recommend using both heartworm and flea and tick prevention year round. For more information on this particular topic, check out our blog post.
Does your pet have particularly short or thin fur? You may want to consider getting them a jacket or sweater. This can be especially nice for when you have to take your pet for a walk. For snowy or icy days, you could also use pet booties so your pet can get a better grip on the ground.
Be sure you aren’t leaving your pets in the car during the winter! Your car acts as a refrigerator and can cause the temperature of the car to drop severely. Hypothermia and frostbite are both serious factors that can harm pets.
After you take your pup for a walk, be sure to rinse and thoroughly dry off their paws and belly. Salt, ice melt, and other chemicals are frequently spread on sidewalks and roadways during the winter. These items can be toxic to your dog and cause severe GI upset if ingested. On that note, if you choose to use a de-icing product on your walkways and driveway, be sure it is a pet safe product.
Are you ready for another winter of fun with your favorite furry companion?