OKLAHOMA CITY – The bitter cold may have you seeking shelter indoors, and experts don’t want you to forget about your pets.
Experts from BluePearl Veterinary Partners say pets can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia just like humans.
“If it feels cold to you, it’s probably cold to your indoor cat or dog,” Dr. Will Fischbach, a senior clinician at BluePearl, said.
Veterinarians say owners not only need to worry about protecting their pets from the cold temperatures, but also some of the other dangers that go along with winter weather.
Experts say you should not leave your pets in the cold for too long, adding that fur coats won’t protect them from prolonged exposure. If you start to see a pet shiver, or see redness in their tails or ears, bring them inside immediately. Also, try to get the ice out from between their paws.
If you spread a de-icer on your driveway, find one that is pet-friendly. Various toxins and even salt can cause problems for pets since they tend to lick the substances off of their paws.
Don’t leave your pet alone in the car when you go to the store. They can still be affected by the cold.
If your pet is spending time in a basement or garage, make sure you clear those spaces of antifreeze and rat poison. Cats also love to crawl into anything warm, including a car engine. If your cat spends time in the garage, be sure you find it before starting your car.
If you are taking your dog on a walk, make sure to keep them on a leash. Snow and ice can mask familiar scents and paths, so they may get lost.
If your pet struggles when getting up and moving around, your pet may be suffering from arthritis. Also, make sure your pets have soft, warm bedding.
Also, consider getting your dog a sweater or coat if they are short-haired.