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Your Pet’s Health

Published on: December 20th, 2011

Don’t take your dog off leash near frozen or semi-frozen water. Pets are lost every winter to icy lakes because rescue crews typically can’t get there in time to save them from hypothermia or drowning.

Give paws and tummies a quick wipe-down after a walk to remove salt, sand and ice balls that can dry and damage.

Stand outside with your pet during potty breaks. If you’re cold, any animal not designed for cold weather is probably cold too. Your husky might be OK for a bit, but a kitty shoulder-deep in snow won’t be.

Cats aren’t outdoor winter animals in Colorado, period. Beyond freezing, they could get trapped in small, warm spaces, or snuggle up to a car engine. Bang the hood a couple of times to scare off strays just in case.

Animals can be like children with hot objects, so be cautious with space heaters that have exposed coils or scalding metal surfaces.

Buy heated water dishes for outdoor pets or refill any water dishes with warm water no less than twice a day.

If your pet must be outside for extended periods of time during the winter, provide a warm bed, hay and/or a wrapped heating pad.

That sweater might help a bit, but pets lose most of their heat from their pads, ears and respiratory tract. Keep in mind that they, too, can get frostbite.

Have the furnace checked for carbon monoxide leakage. Pets are more susceptible to death in this way, especially in the winter, than humans because they spend more time at home.

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