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Posted on 11-20-2017
As your trusted local veterinarian, the team at Mokena Animal Clinic is here to help you and your pets enjoy a safe fall/winter season. We believe that preventative care is one of the most effective ways to keep your pets happy and healthy all year long. In addition to regular wellness exams, we recommend that pet owners stay up to date with the latest health and safety tips to make sure your pets are enjoying a better quality of life.
As the cold, dry winter weather starts rolling in there are a number of dangerous situations that you and your family should be aware of. Follow these helpful tips to ensure your pets stay safe and warm all winter long.
Your family dog still needs to get plenty of exercise during the colder months, so that means walks outside in the cold are necessary. But all of that back and forth between the cold, wetness outside and the dry heat inside the home can lead to itchy and flaking skin. To reduce your dog's chances of suffering from irritated skin, keep your home comfortable inside with a humidifier and always towel dry your dog as soon as you get inside. Pay close attention to his feet, removing any snow buildup and drying his pads thoroughly.
It is never a good idea to shave your dog or inside/outside cat down to their skin during the winter months. A longer coat automatically provides them with lots of warmth. If you have a dog or cat with long hair, be sure to groom them regularly to avoid matting and remove any snowballs from their fur whenever they come back inside. Additionally, for pets with short hair, a durable winter coat can be a great way to add a bit more warmth when they go out.
This is one time of the year where it’s okay to get a little lax on bathing. Aside from the occasional spray down after a muddy walk, try to bathe your pets as little as possible during the colder winter months. If you wash their coat too often, you could be removing essential oils and increase their chances of developing irritated and flaky dry skin. If your dog requires regular bathing, speak with our veterinarian in Mokena for additional information on moisturizing shampoo options.
Dogs and cats that play outside during the wintertime will burn much more energy than they do in the warmer months. They burn off more calories in an attempt to stay warm so it is important that you feed them a little bit more during cold spells. Additionally, make sure that they have plenty of water to help keep them hydrated and prevent dry skin.
One very important rule of thumb to remember during the fall and winter is to keep in mind that if it’s too cold outside for you and the kids, it’s too cold for the pets to go out as well. If your pets are kept outside in the cold there are at risk for a number of different health issues. They can very easily freeze and become disoriented, leading to the chance of becoming lost or stolen. And similarly to the hot summer months never leave a pet unattended in your vehicle during the winter.
Whether they spend time outdoors or not, pay your family pets a bit of extra attention during the next few months to make sure they have everything they need. Call (708) 479-2811 today for more helpful at-home care tips or to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian team at Mokena Animal Hospital.
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