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Keeping your furry friends safe in the cold

Posted at 3:58 PM, Jan 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-26 15:26:20-05

Humans aren't the only ones who suffer from runny noses, numbness and shivers in the extreme cold. We need to take extra precautions for our pet's safety as well.

Here are some cold weather tips from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals:

Towel-dry your pets when they come inside

Coming in and out of the home can cause itchy and flaking skin on dogs and other pets. Be sure to wipe their paws when they come back inside, and pay special attention to any lingering bits of snow stuck between their foot pads.

Avoid haircuts

A longer coat will keep your pet warmer in the frigid temperatures. Trims to remove ice and other elements clinging to their fur are highly suggested over shaving. Further, pets with short hair might benefit from a coat or sweater covering the tail and belly for extra protection when outside.

Bathe as little as possible

Washing too frequently in the winter can remove essential oils from your pet's skin and result in dry, flaky skin. Ask your vet for a moisturizing shampoo if your pet must be washed.

Wash and dry pet's stomach and feet

Be mindful of your pet's paws and other areas that can become irritated by ice, salt and other chemicals. Bring a towel along on walks to clean off stinging paws, and wash and dry stomach and feet when you get back inside.

Protect the paws

Apply petroleum jelly or put booties on your pet before heading outdoors to avoid harm from salt and chemicals.

Increase meal sizes

Pets burn extra energy by trying to stay warm in the colder months, so it may be wise to feed them a little bit more during this time of year. Also, be sure they are drinking enough water to help aid against dry skin.

Beware of toxic spills

Coolant and antifreeze are poisonous for cats and dogs, so be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills, and if you can, purchase products that contain propylene glycol instead of ethylene glycol.

All of these tips are to ensure your furry friends stay safe and comfortable this winter, and remember, if it's too cold outside for you, it's probably too cold for your pets as well.