By Susan Hurt
Fall is my favorite season, the one I look forward to all year as we make the transition from summer to winter.
I love everything about it: the golden hues, the wonderful smells, the decorations, and the cool evenings, perfect for a bonfire with family or hayride with friends. With the days getting shorter and the temperatures getting colder, it reminds us that winter is right around the corner. Dr. Todd Freeman, a local veterinarian, shares the following tips for keeping your pets snug, safe and warm this fall and winter.
- A physical exam is important to identify any physical problems that may make winter hard on your pets.
- Keep your pets inside as much as possible and if they do go outside stay with them. When you are too cold to be outside, they probably are too.
- Some breeds are more susceptible to colder weather than others. Medical conditions, like diabetes and heart disease, can affect the pet’s ability to regulate their body temperature.
- Cats search for warm places, like a car engine. Be sure to check carefully before starting your car.
- If you use fireplaces or space heaters in your homes, keep in mind your pet likes heat too. Burns can occur from close contact with flames, heating coils and hot surfaces.
- Be prepared; cold temperatures bring severe winter weather and power outages can occur. Prepare a disaster and emergency kit, and include your pet in your plans.
- Have enough food, water and any medications your pet may be taking to last you a minimum of five days.
- Prepare outside shelters for outdoor pets. Keep adequate bedding, solid shelter against wind and plenty of fresh, unfrozen water.
- Continue heartworm prevention and flea control through the winter. A warm day in the middle of January can bring mosquitoes out, or if it’s warm in your house, they can camp out there.
- Monitor your pet’s food intake during the winter and make sure they get adequate exercise in order to avoid excessive weight gain.