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Winter Pet Safety Tips

graphic showing winter pet safety
Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

In true Colorado Springs fashion, once Halloween arrived so did winter temperatures. While we put on our coats and turn up the thermostat, it’s important to take the time to make sure your pet is safe throughout the season. The fur on both cats and dogs effectively work the same way as our winter coats do, so if it is getting too cold for you then it is getting too cold for your pet! Here are ways to make sure your pet is safe and cozy this winter season:

graphic showing winter pet safety

Prevention Is Key

Cold weather may worsen any medical conditions your pet has. Make sure you take your pet in for a wellness check before the weather hits so you can learn about any potential concerns that may face your pet this season. Conditions like arthritis in older pets have the potential to be extra uncomfortable for your pet in harsh weather conditions, and your local vet might have some recommendations on how to help with these issues.

Peace of Mind

While we all love looking at Pikes Peak adorned with snow, no one wants to be walking through the snow looking for a lost pet! Snow may disguise recognizable smells that dogs and cats use to navigate their way home when lost. Be sure to keep your dog leashed and stay close to your cat if he or she likes to venture out into the snow. You can have peace of mind by microchipping your pet.

Add Some Calories

We may complain about how many calories we consume during the winter season, but it is actually important for our pets to do the same. Both cats and dogs burn more calories during the cold weather to keep warm, so during this time feed them a bit more! Feel free to reach out to your vet if you have any questions about your pet’s nutritional needs.

Keep Them Hydrated

As water freezes outside, don’t forget to keep up your pet’s water intake. Keeping your pet hydrated will help make their skin less dry and their coats moisturized. Even if your dog loves eating snow, remember it is not nearly as beneficial as drinking fresh water.

Dry Them Off

Each time your pet comes in from outside, wipe down their paws to not only remove moisture but also to remove any potentially toxic winter substances. Ice, salt, and chemicals that we all rely on to get us safely through the winter can be very harmful for your pet. You can even take a dry towel with you on walks to keep up your pet dry.

Check The Hood

Cats may often find refuge from the cold by cozying up in wheel wells and other places that you might not typically check when heading out in the mornings. Before you start your vehicle, bang on the hood and make loud noises in order to encourage any potential cats to move away. These actions will provide the cat the opportunity to wake up and escape in order to be safe.

We Are a Colorado Springs Vet That Wants to Help You Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter!

Here at Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we want to do everything we can to make sure you and your pet are safe and sound during the winter season. Give us a call to schedule an appointment so we can help make that happen!

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.