State College Veterinary Hospital

1700 W. College Avenue
State College, PA 16801-2719


Brrrr.....  It's Cold Outside         
               As the Mercury dips, using these tips from Merial and the ASPCA will help you protect your pets.

1.  During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of cars.  When the motor is started the cat can be injured by the fan belt.  If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

2.  Never shave your dog down to the skin in the winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth.  When you bathe your dog in colder months, be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a
walk.  If you own a short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.

3.  Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be difficult to housebreak during the winter.  If your puppy appears to be sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside.  If you dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him outdoors only to relieve himself.

4.  Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes in out of the sleet, snow or ice.  He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws and his paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

5.  Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice especially during a snowstorm.  Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.  More dogs are lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure that yours always wears ID tags.

6.  Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats.  Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.  Visit the ASPCA Animal Position Control Center for more information.

7.  Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities?  Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him-- and his fur in tip-top shape.

8.  Keep your cat inside.  Outdoors, felines can freeze or become lost.  Remember, cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious disease including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

9.  Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor away from all drafts.  A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow.

10.  Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather.  A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding  in the cold and causing the animal to freeze.

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