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Winter Pet Safety | Part 1

The holidays have come and gone, and while holiday pet safety may no longer be front of mind, it’s important to remember the cold weather that’s here to stay for a bit. Much like how it’s crucial to learn how to keep pets safe in the summer, the colder months of winter bring their own set of challenges for pet owners.

In this first article of a three-part series, we’ll cover general winter pet safety and include some tips to keep your furry friends safe through the coldest months.

General Winter Wellness for Pets

While it's essential to maintain your pets’ general wellness year-round, here are a few things to consider for the winter.

Winter Wellness Exams

Make sure your pet has been in to see their regular veterinarian for their annual preventative care exam each year. Winter is a great time if they haven’t been yet, as the cold weather can exacerbate arthritic pain in older pets.

Update ID Tags

Check that your pets’ microchip and ID tag information is up to date. Snow and ice can often mask the scents our pets use to find their way home, making the winter a season that leads to many lost pets.

Understand Cold Tolerance

Much like humans, pets have a varying tolerance to the cold based on a variety of factors, including:

  • General health

  • Activity level

  • Body fat stores

  • Coat

Consult with your veterinarian to help determine your pet’s temperature limits and alternative solutions for exercise and mental stimulation in the winter.

Keep Pets Indoors

As much as possible, it’s best to keep your pets (both cats and dogs) indoors during the winter. Although they have fur, it doesn’t necessarily mean they have a higher cold tolerance than humans. In below-freezing weather, pets should never be left outside for long periods.

Feed Them Well

Our pets don’t need to pack on the pounds in the winter to help protect them in the cold. They should be maintaining a healthy weight year round. Keeping that in mind, it’s important to note that some outdoor pets may need more calories in the colder months to help generate enough energy and body heat to keep warm.

Change Up Sleeping Arrangements

As you learn your pets’ cold tolerance, you’ll want to provide a few different options for sleep. They like to be comfortable and warm, which might mean providing opportunities in various locations with varying layers of warmth until they find their right fit.

Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture Wants to Help Keep Your Pets Safe This Winter

Here at Aloha Veterinary Acupuncture, we love the snowy season just as much as the next dog lover. That’s why we’re committed to helping you keep your pets safe through the coldest weather of the year. Stay tuned for Part 2 and more tips to keep your pets safe this winter.

Of course, if you’re interested in exploring the world of veterinary acupuncture but worried about potentially exposing your pet to hypothermic conditions, we’re here for you, too! After all, we come to you!

Take a look at the benefits of veterinary acupuncture, and feel free to contact us with any additional questions you might have. Dr. Kho is happy to discuss your pet and address any questions or concerns you may have about veterinary acupuncture.

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