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Caring for Snow Dogs and Cats

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Weather forecasters predict that Georgia will be hit with a rare snowfall today. It may be fun to see your dogs (or cats) frolicking around in the white stuff. But like humans, your pets should be protected against the wintry weather when they go out and when they come back in.

Consider that the ASPCA says that sleet and snow can cause chapped paws, itchy and flaky skin. Winter walks can be hazardous this time of year warns the organization.

“Winter walks can become downright dangerous if chemicals from ice-melting agents are licked off of bare paws,” explains the ASPCA.

Here are their recommendations on how to care for your dogs and cats when it snows outside.

Keep a towel nearby after walks: After walks, dry your pets’ paws as soon as they come in. Make sure you clean in between their toes especially because it gets damp.

Let your pet wear booties: Yes go ahead and laugh or endure the laughter of people seeing your dog or puss in boots! But they can help your pet very much. “Booties help minimize contact with painful salt crystals, poisonous anti-freeze and chemical ice-melting agents,” says the ASPCA. “They can also help prevent sand and salt from getting lodged in between bare toes, causing irritation.”

Use petroleum jelly: The organization recommends rubbing petroleum on your pet’s paw pads before they go outside. It apparently helps protect them from the salt and chemical agents on the ground. It also protects their paws from chapping.

Cut long haired dogs: Make sure you trim the hair of long haired dogs as they tend to attract ice and chemical agents more.

Let your pets stay inside: If it’s just too icy and cold outside, it’s better to keep them indoors. You can arrange for them to relieve themselves on newspapers or puppy pads.

Get tips on how to keep your pets warm in my previous post Five Tips for Keeping Your Pets Warm During the Winter

And make sure you visit the ASPCA site for more weather advice for pets.