Submitted By Jules Martins of Village Paws Pet Salon

Oh the weather outside is frightful

As the days get cooler and the light grows shorter, we are reminded that falling temps are just around the corner. Just as we need to prepare for Old Man Winter, we should also get our pets ready to face the cold days ahead. Here are eight tips to keep your dogs and cats happy and healthy in the days to come.

The purr under the hood: as temperatures drop, outside cats like to snuggle up against a warm engine. Before you start your engine, make yourself known by stamping your feet and tapping the hood loudly. This will alert a cat to flee before you start her up and cause serious harm to a snoozing feline.
Antifreeze: The sweet killer. A few licks of antifreeze can cause kidney failure and severe neurological damage, most times resulting in death. Sadly, antifreeze has a sweet taste that dogs will lap up willingly. Cat’s will lick it off their feet during grooming if they happen to walk through it. Please check under your car for antifreeze leaks and store all containers out of reach of pets.
The clothes make the dog: Who doesn’t like dressing their dog in cool clothes? Well, put those too-too’s and muscle shirts away and break out the warm, practical attire. Winter doggy clothes should be more functional and less adorable. Many dogs are more comfortable outside when wearing an extra layer. Small dogs have a harder time maintaining a normal body temp in freezing weather, so feel free to break out the flannel and faux fur. If your best buddy happens to be a husky type, no need for canine clothes.
Baby it’s cold outside: Regardless of the weather, all animals need access to clean water around the clock. Always make sure your pet’s water source does not freeze as hydration is just as important in winter to maintain good health.
Even though it’s cold outside, your dog needs exercise to keep his mind, body and soul happy. There is nothing like a good run through the snow that benefits both owner and dog. What could be better than a tired dog sacked out at your feet in front of a fire? And if the weather is too nasty to venture out in, a Lassie binge fest while curled on the couch is an acceptable alternative.
Ice, Ice Baby! If you like to hike with your dogs off leash, be extra careful of ice covered water. Falling through the ice can be life-threatening to a dog and to the owner who jumps in to rescue it. Collect your dog on its leash until you are a safe distance away from the ice.
Salt on the wound: Using salt on ice can be very abrasive to a dog or cat’s paws. Salt can adhere to your pet’s pads and to the hair between their toes causing irritation and sores. Wipe your pet’s pads off with a damp wash cloth when you come inside.
We are what we eat: Admit it, we all indulge to excess over the holidays when it comes to food. Both ourselves and our pets do not need the extra pounds. But what we eat is often very harmful to our dogs and cats. Fatty rich foods can cause gastrointestinal issues such pancreatitis and can land your pet in the hospital for several days. Keep your pet on its regular diet and exercise regime to avoid a hefty vet bill under the tree.