The “Good” Word by Dr. Carol Good – Rockford Animal Hospital *Keeping dogs and cats healthy in winter weather – part 1*

By January 5, 2015The Good Word

We’ve had the first blast of winter early this year here in Rockford, Michigan. Since then we haven’t had a lot of snow, but I’m not holding my breath that it will stay that way.

If you have a cat or dog who spends a good deal of time out- doors, make sure that they have a way to get shelter from the cold temperatures and snow. A kennel or a place in your barn/ garage with a box that has straw or a blanket to snuggle will help.

Also, make sure that you provide fresh water twice daily as a bowel of water freezes quickly and your pet can’t drink ice. Increase the amount of food out door pets are fed as they will need extra fuel to keep warm.

Cut back on your indoor cat’s or dog’s food if they are getting less exercise during the winter months.   In addition, you might consider getting a warm coat for your small/ short haired dog so they can tolerate the cold weather longer and still go for walks. Otherwise, you can play ball indoors and get them to follow you up and down stairs.  Try using a laser light to play with your cat or move their food dish to the top of a table to encourage exercise. Be creative and your pet doesn’t have to gain weight during the winter!

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