Dr. Gough’s Corner: Tips for daily care for your pets during winter

Winter is here. The cold air, snow and ice can cause multiple issues when caring for your pets. Everyone knows that all pets should be kept indoors at all times, day and night, except for when pets need to do their business outdoors. If it is too cold for you to stand outside then it certainly is for your pet. Try taking your coat off and stand outside and you’ll soon see how your pet feels.

Here are some tips for daily care during the winter months:

  1. Salt used for melting ice is very damaging to paws and skin. Make sure to wipe their paws when they come inside.
  2. Make a path through the snow in your yard so that your pet has an area in which to do their business.
  3. Limit the amount of time outdoors to minutes even if your pet is young and full of energy.
  4. Frostbite does occur especially on extremities such as tips of ears. This type of damage may not heal at all.
  5. Even your pet, especially small dogs, can slip on ice and cause injury to their joints like knees and hips.
  6. Go outside with your pet to monitor what does happen. Common sense dictates that you should have your pet in either a fenced yard or on a leash.
  7. If you do have a large dog that has to be kept outside be sure that it has adequate shelter away from all wind chill factors.
  8. Antifreeze is one of the most deadly poisons that can be ingested. Make sure that there is none of it in your pet’s environment.

If you suspect that your pet has suffered any ill effects from winter weather, do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian for advice or help.

– Dr. Gough of Clarksville Animal Hospital, 812-288-7999

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Matthew Duffy is well known for his renowned dog training services, books and DVDs, and online video training sessions through memberships. Matthew uses "genuine control without the rigidity of formal commands." Bring on the dogs!