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Pet Care Specifics for the Winter Months

winter pet care | photo of small dog with coat onCharles D. Whitworth, DVM, and his staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic in Madison, Alabama, have an important reminder for their clients. According to some weather predictions, this winter could be especially cold. Be sure to prepare your pet for the lower temperatures. A little extra care will help keep your buddy protected from Jack Frost.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

No Couch Potatoes

Pets need to remain active throughout the year. Allowing them to just lounge around the house can lead to health problems such as joint pain and diabetes. During the wintertime, it’s a good idea to walk your dog while the sun’s still out. Not only will the sun help keep your pet warm, but it will also increase vitamin D levels. If it’s simply too cold outside, play a game of fetch indoors. Remember, every bit of exercise helps.

Keep an Eye Out for the Signs of Hypothermia

Hypothermia is a serious condition that could put your pet’s life at risk. Severe hypothermia can actually lead to heart failure. It’s essentially caused by overexposure to the cold. If your pet has started to shiver, this could be an early sign of hypothermia. The pet care experts at Whitworth Animal Clinic urge you to never leave your pet behind in a cold vehicle.

Care for Paws

The cold weather can definitely cause your pet’s paw pads to become cracked. Dog booties can provide an extra layer of protection. Winter salt can also irritate sensitive pads. After your pet has been walking on a salt-filled sidewalk, be sure to rinse its paws.

Keep Cats Safe

Winter pet care is just as important for cats. While keeping your cat inside on the coldest days is a good idea, you should also create a warm refuge outdoors. Furthermore, take extra precautions before cranking up your car. Because of the engine’s warmth, cats like to crawl under the hood. If you don’t see your cat, tap the hood to be on the safe side.

Warm Bedding

Allowing your pet to sleep on a cold floor is a bad idea. Elevated beds are far better. However, avoid placing the bedding near a space heater or fireplace. The hot surface can burn your pet.

Located in Madison, Alabama, Whitworth Animal Clinic proudly serves the surrounding areas in northern Alabama. Our veterinary facility specializes in pet care. From microchipping to surgery, we offer a wide range of important services. Don’t hesitate to contact Whitworth Animal Clinic for an appointment.

*This article is not meant to take the place of professional veterinarian advice. If you have questions, call the staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic or make an appointment with a vet in your area.

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