Though it has not felt much like winter since our early January snowfall, there are at least six to ten more weeks of potential cold snaps, snow, and ice. In Asheville, NC, winter weather presents unique challenges to owners of pets and livestock.
In our previous article, How to Care for Pets During Winter Part 1, we discussed four steps for ensuring your pets are safe and warm during the cold season, including:
- Provide Appropriate Food for Your Pets in Winter
- Pay Close Attention to Temperatures and Weather Forecasts
- What to do With Outdoor Animals When Temperatures are Cold
- Make Sure Indoor Spaces are Safe and Warm
In this article, we will detail four additional principles for caring for animals during winter:
1) Never Leave Your Pets Unattended in a Car
Unlike your home, your vehicle is not well-insulated. Leaving a pet in the car while you run errands is as dangerous in winter as it is during the summer. Even if you leave your vehicle idling with the heat on, your dog or cat is susceptible to dangers from carbon monoxide.
Pay close attention for hitchhikers during the cold season. Outdoor cats like huddle up on or even underneath the hood of your car, where the engine is warm. This can be quite dangerous when you start your engine and being driving down the road.
2) Make Sure Your Pet Regularly Visits the Veterinarian
During summer, when disease, ticks, and fleas are more prevalent, it is easier to remember to remember to take our pets to the vet. However, it is just as important to schedule regular visits to your veterinarian or animal hospital in the winter months. Your pet’s winter veterinarian examination will include, but not be limited to:
- The Health of His Teeth
- How Well He is Walking
- Whether He is Breathing Normally
- The Effectiveness of His Diet and Exercise
- Whether His Shots are Up to Date
The overall health of your dogs, cats, and livestock will help determine how effectively they manage the extreme cold of Asheville’s winter months. For more information about veterinarians and animal hospitals in Avery Creek and western North Carolina, contact us.
3) Walking Dogs When it is Cold and Snowy
Pet owners are aware of how important it is for their dogs to get plenty of exercise, but some breeds are more equipped to handle the snow and cold than others. Here are a few tips for walking dogs in the snow and ice:
- Booties for their paws when there is snow, ice, and salt/brine treatment on roads and sidewalks.
- Before the snow falls, lay out a tarp in your yard. Remove the tarp after the snow and your dog will have a drier place to do his business.
- Clear snow away from fences so your dog will not have an easy way to escape.
- Clean your dog’s paws after he has been out in the snow and ice.
4) Bundle Up and Go Outside with Your Pets
If you have taken the appropriate safety measures, go outside with your pets as often as you can. During, temperatures are warmest from early to midafternoon. We are not strangers to cold weather here in the mountains, so you may find the dog park is still quite busy.
When it really is too cold to spend time outdoors, you may use a treadmill to allow your dogs and pets to get in a much-needed walk. The good news about Asheville, it never remains cold for too long.
For more tips and information about winter pet safety, contact us. We love your pets and are here to help.