Follow these helpful tips to keep your pet happy and healthy all year long.
Brrrr, its cold outside. During the winter months, pets are susceptible to the frigid cold temperatures just like their owners. Follow these tips to keep your pet warm and healthy this winter.
• Wipe their paws. Walking in the neighborhood, a dog’s paws can pick up harmful chemicals from the ground such as antifreeze. The chemical is poisonous to pets and can cause severe harm when ingested. To avoid any injuries, wipe and clean their paws after the walk.
• Bring your pet inside. All animals are at risk during freezing weather temperatures, regardless of size or breed. During extreme weather situations, pets can freeze to death or experience hypothermia. Additionally, pets should not be left in a car during freezing temperatures.
• Limit time outdoors. Watch local weather reports for freezing temperatures. Also keep in mind, if it’s too cold for you, it is too cold for your pet. Consider putting a coat or sweater on your pet when outside.
• Keep your pet’s long coat. An animal’s coat is their main source for warmth, so avoid closely shaving your dog’s long coat. For short-haired breeds, consider using a sweater when outdoors.
• Reduce the amount of baths. Some shampoos can deplete a pet's coat’s natural essential oils, causing dry skin. Additionally, the chilly weather can increase a pet’s dry, flaky skin. After bath time, make sure to completely dry your pet before they go outside.
The scorching Texas heat can be life-threatening for pets and increase the chances of heat stroke. Follow these tips to keep your pet healthy during the summer months.
• Unlimited access to fresh, clean water. During the summer months, pets will increase their intake of H2O to stay hydrated. Additionally, when a pet is outside, ensure they have a shady place to escape the sun’s rays.
• Go outside in the cooler hours of the day. Avoid walking a pet on hot surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete. Your pet’s paw pads can be damaged, which can hinder their walking.
• Don’t leave a pet in the car. A car’s inside temperature can quickly rise to deadly levels and leave your pet susceptible to heat stroke. Instead, leave your pet at home in the air conditioning while running errands.
• Keep flatter snout animals inside. Animals like pugs and Persian cats are more susceptible to heat stroke because they can’t pant effectively. Additionally, owners also should keep senior and juvenile pets inside in the air conditioning as well.
• Be mindful of garden and yard safety. Store lawn fertilizer and insecticides out of a pet's reach. When using lawn and garden products, follow pet-safety instructions. Avoid planting greenery and plants that are toxic to pets. See Toxic and Nontoxic Plant List.
Pet owners should immediately contact a veterinarian if they observe the following signs of a heat stroke:
- Excessive panting
- Abnormal gum and tongue color
- Excessive drooling
(Source: American Veterinary Medical Association)