Pets need protection from the cold weather just as much as they need protection from the heat of the summer. Here are a few tips to help keep your pet as healthy as possible through the Colorado winter!

Beware of antifreeze – it tastes sweet to animals, but even a small amount can be deadly. Clean up even the smallest spills immediately and keep the product away from pets.

Check the paws – snow and ice can lead to injuries such as cracked or bleeding paws. Check them often for signs of injury. Trimming excess fur between the toes can help prevent ice ball accumulation, which can lead to sudden lameness on a walk. Also make sure to wipe the paws after walks to get rid of any deicers or other potentially toxic chemicals that your pet might ingest. Please consider using a pet-safe deicer to help protect your pets and any others that might be walking in your neighborhood.

Bang on your car – cats may crawl under the hood of a car with a warm engine. To prevent injury to the cat, bang on the hood of the car and make noise before starting your car.

Provide shelter – we don’t recommend leaving pets outside for long periods of time, but if you must leave your pets outside during the cold weather make sure they have adequate shelter and fresh, non-frozen water. The shelter should be appropriate for the type of animal; remember to consider the pet’s age and overall condition before placing an animal outside. Always make sure to check with your local municipality to determine if there are specific requirements for sheltering your type of animal.

Know your pet – make adjustments as needed for your pet; for example, dogs with short fur may need a sweater or arthritic animals may need help walking on the snow and ice. Always check with your veterinarian if you have specific questions!