Tips to Protect Your Pets from the Cold Winter
1/4/2013 (Updated 1/5/2013 4:25:40 PM)(Source: Kate Thornton)
BROOME COUNTY -- Like many dogs, Kiara, a mutt at the Broome County Humane Society loves to pay in the snow. But, after a little while, it's time to come inside.
"Certainly (pets) are subjected to the same environmental conditions that we are," said Doctor Dana Stewart from the Vestal Veterinary Hospital. "Hypothermia can certainly set in on these guys just like it can with people. So keeping them indoors in a warm, dry environment is definitely recommended."
Stewart said that it's very important that cats and dogs always have fresh water and food. Water that is left outside for pets will likely be frozen depending on the temperature.
Dogs Australian Shepherds or Golden Retrievers have very thick, fluffy fur that will help them stay warm during the cold winter months.
But, smaller dogs and Pit Bulls are usually more prone to frostbite or hypothermia when they are outside for a prolonged period of time.
"If you just compare a Pit Bull to a Golden Retriever, it's very clear on the fur. The Golden Retriever will stay warmer outside in the cold weather. Pit Bulls do not have the right hair or skin to be outside for hours at a time. They're not that kind of breed," said Broome County Humane Society Manager Laurie Hubik.
Huvik has seen first hand the dangers of dogs outside in the cold for too long.
"Dogs that we have rescued for situations where they don't have shelter, it's very clear to us that when they're here, that they can only be outside for 15 or 20 minutes. They went to go back in. They're cold, they're shivering, we may even have sweaters on them and they want to come back inside," said Hubik.
But, dogs who love to run and play, the drop in temperature and the pile of snow won't stop them from having a good time with their owner.
When your dog is done frolicking in the snow, it's very important to have a warm rag ready. Because once you inside you'll want to get all the snow off of him to prevent frostbite.
And, when taking a walk with your canine friend, try to avoid salted sidewalks if you can.
"Salt can cause chemical burns on their paws so certainly take caution with that and make sure that you check their paws when you guys get inside," said Stewart.
If your pet has to stay outside, you must have proper shelter like a dog house with enough isolation to protect it from the bitter cold.
Keep these tips in mind, you and your best friend will have a safe and happy winter.
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