Although winters are mild in the North Carolina Piedmont – compared to states in the north – frigid temperatures are not uncommon nor is the occasional bout with freezing rain, sleet and snow accumulation. Some pets are just as sensitive to the cold as their human parents. To help keep your pet warm, safe and illness-free during the cold months, we’ve compiled a list of winter pet tips.
- Since many cats have an aversion to water, you may have a difficult time getting your cat to go outdoors, to begin with. That’s OK: Keep your cat indoors. Cats have a tendency to climb up under a warm car and lie next to the engine. When the engine has started the belts and the fan can injure the cat. A good habit is to bang on the hood of your car before you start it to frighten away any cats that may have climbed under your car left in the driveway.
- Snow and ice often prompt homeowners to treat sidewalks and driveways with salt once cleared of accumulation. Be sure to wash your dog’s paws and underbelly after an outdoor excursion. Salt can cause the pads of your dog’s paws to dry, crack and bleed. Also, your dog is probably going to bathe himself and ingesting an overabundance of salt isn’t good. Worse, if your dog is allowed to roam the neighborhood, he could easily walk through spilled anti-freeze or kerosene. Clean up any spills immediately that you might create and consider switching to anti-freeze made with propylene glycol as opposed to ethylene glycol. Be sure to dry your dog thoroughly after a bath especially if you plan to take him out soon.
- Many breeds of cats and dogs grow a thicker, longer coat in the wintertime. Resist the urge to trim or shave them close since you would be removing one of the defenses your pet has against the cold. If your short-haired dog will tolerate it, dress him from hindquarters to neck in a warm sweater before going outdoors. A cushy pet bed will help keep your pet warm and up off the cold floor but a folded blanket and a hot water bottle will suffice.
Hopefully, your pet won’t become ill but if your pet does have an emergency after hours, you’ll find that we’re open every night of the week from 6 PM to 8 AM each morning.