Cold weather, just like hot weather, can pose serious threats to your pets’ health.
Officials from Los Angeles Animal Services offer some tips on how to keep your pets safe during wintry weather:
— Winter wellness: Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get them checked out to make sure they are ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.
— It’s sweater weather: If your dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather, consider a sweater or dog coat. Use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside. Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder.
— Check paws and wipe down pets: After walks in rainy weather, paws, legs, and bellies may pick up harmful chemicals that could be toxic if pet’s lick them off of their feet or fur. Dog booties are a good option during wet and cold weather; ensure booties are fitting properly.
— Stay inside: If it’s possible to keep your pets indoors, cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold and freezing weather. If it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for your pet.
— Make some noise: A warm vehicle engine can be an appealing but deadly heat source for outdoor and free-roaming cats. Before starting the engine, check underneath your car, bang on the hood, and honk the horn to encourage feline hitchhikers to leave their hiding spot under the hood.
— Never leave a pet alone in a car during cold weather: A car can act as a refrigerator, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. Always check to make sure that dogs are welcome where you are going, otherwise leave them at home.
— Wear a collar and check the chip: Make sure your pet is wearing a well-fitting collar with a current LA City dog license and ID tag, and that your furry friend is microchipped with your up-to-date contact information, which can help reunite you with your lost pet should you become separated.