After the holiday season, it can be difficult to find the magic of winter. In Illinois, it seems to linger and drag on forever. Although Spring might feel like it’s decades away, winter can be a beautiful season if you stop to enjoy it and it can be for your pets as well! At Huckleberry’s Pet Parlor, we never met a dog who didn’t love the snow but it’s important to keep them comfortable and safe. Here are some tips from the Humane Society and don’t forget, exercise is important and we offer Doggie Daycare where dogs can play with other dogs keeping that cabin fever away.
Keep pets sheltered
Keep your pets inside with you and your family. Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons. Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops.
Groom your pet
Keep pets well-groomed even during the winter months. Nails become brittle and can break on the ice so keeping them trimmed will help with breakage. Fur that is matted does not protect them in the cold. Fur needs to be free from mats in order to provide warmth. Also, matted fur can cause skin irritations and if you wait till spring to take care of it your pet could have a bad skin infection under a matted coat. Beware of fuzzy coats causing dog’s fur to become matted.
Make sure to brush the dog’s fur after wearing sweaters and winter coats and paws after walks.
Bundle up, wipe down
No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet's life. Exposed skin on noses, ears, and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. For this reason, short-haired dogs often feel more comfortable wearing a sweater—even during short walks.
Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet's feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates their mouth.
Remove common poisons
Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately and keep it, like all household chemicals, out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife, and family.
Dogs are at particular risk of salt poisoning in winter due to the rock salt used in many areas—often when licking it from their paws after a walk. Store de-icing salt in a safe place and wipe your dog’s paws, even after short walks. If your dog ingests rock salt, call a veterinarian immediately.
If you encounter a pet left in the cold, politely let the owner know you're concerned. Some people genuinely don’t know the risk that cold weather poses to their pets or livestock and will be quick to correct any problems you address.
No bones about it, Huckleberry’s Pet Parlor is Sycamore and DeKalb’s premier pet center. Our services include full-service pet grooming, doggy daycare, dog training, self-service pet wash, treats, toys, and more. Visit our website to learn more or call us at (815) 899-3435 to make an appointment.