1) Keep your pet’s vaccinations up to date.. Increased stress associated with cold weather reduces the resistance to disease. Your pet needs more than just a Rabies vaccination. Dogs need to have DHLPP (Distemper, Adenovirus/infectious canine hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza), and Bordetella boosters every year.
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2) Heartworm preventive should be given year-round. The medication kills certain immature stages of the heartworm during its journey through the body before it actually reaches the heart. The medication needs to be given all year long to insure all immature heartworms are killed when they reach the stage of susceptibility to the medication.
3) Internal Parasite Examinations insure your pet is “worm-free”. Internal parasites drain your pet’s blood, protein, and energy.
4) Feed high quality diet to fulfill the increased nutritional demands throughout cold weather. You get what you pay for in pet foods. “High Protein” labels do not mean it’s “digestible protein”. Pets kept outside should be fed more food to meet their requirements through the winter. Fresh water should always be obtainable. Be certain to provide UNFROZEN water at least twice daily during zero weather. Porcelain bowls will stop tongues from sticking to it. Steer clear of metal bowls for this reason.There are also heated bowls available to keep the water thawed.
5) Vitamin supplements, such as Nutrical®,may increase your pet’s resistance to the effects of cold weather and offer required nutritional elements that frequently deteriorate once a bag of food has been opened.
6) Brush your pet every day to maintain its haircoat.Heat in your house may dry the skin. Moisturizers , such as Dermal Soothe Anti-Itch Spray for Dogs & Cats, are available to maintain a healthy coat.
7) Provide adequate shelter. Supplying adequate shelter from the elements is the key to a healthy outdoor pet. The pet that has a cozy refuge where he can seek shelter from the cold wind, driving rain, sleet, and snow will be much better able to tolerate the cold temperatures. Pet shelters ought to be tightly constructed and no larger than three times the size of the pet. The doorway ought to be just big sufficient for the pet to enter and positioned away from the prevailing wind direction. Building the shelter off the ground a couple of inches and adding insulation underneath will significantly add to the pet’s comfort. Be sure all insulation is sealed away from the pet. Position the shelter where it will get the most sunlight within the winter. Cedar shavings make the best bedding. No pet should be out in zero or sub-zero weather for much more than a couple of minutes with out adequate shelter. Winter is no time to Start keeping a pet outside. Acclimatization should begin in warm weather, permitting gradual increase in hair growth as temperatures become cooler.The best thing to do for your pet is to keep them indoors.DP
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8) Other Suggestions:
a. Antifreeze can be lethal. It’s sweet tasting to your pet. Always clean up any spills in the garage or driveway. Contact your veterinarian immediately in the event you suspect even a “few licks” by the pet.
b. Cats prefer to sleep close to warm car engines. Know where your cat is and honk your horn prior to starting the car to make sure no neighborhood cats are taking a snooze under the hood.
c. Chocolate may be fatal. Keep those giant chocolate kisses and other sweets out of reach from your pet.
d. Salt can hurt paws. Clean the foot pads immediately when coming back inside.There are dog booties available for your pooch.
e. Heated pet beds may help with your pet’s arthritis and keep the chill off.
f. Sweaters and coats can also help dogs maintain their body temperature better.
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