Protect Your Pets During Wicked Weather

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

Our four legged friends may be furry, but that doesn't mean they can't feel the chill in the air. Just like those of us with two legs, wicked winter can cause some problems for pooches and felines.

Your furry friend might enjoy a winter stroll, but just like you, they have a limit for how much cold they can take.

"I think people forget that if you're uncomfortable if you go outside with a jacket they'll be uncomfortable," Amy Lide, Clinic Manager at University Small Animal Clinic, said. "As we've domesticated them they're not capable of keeping their body temperature up as they were in the wild or their ancestors were able to."

For outside, dogs make sure they have blankets or hay to keep them warm at night and that their water doesn't freeze.

If you have an indoor dog, you can get a nice sweater to keep your dog warm during the winter months. But if you have an outdoor dog you want to get a sweater that keeps them warm and also repels water and snow.

Remember many pets suffer from many other winter ailments.

"During the winter a lot of animals get cold and arthritic," Cindy Lovell, a registered Veterinarian technician Grandview Veterinary Clinic, said. "A 7 year old dog is about the same age as a 50 year old person and the same with cats."

Lide's 11-year-old Australian cattle dog, Eve, is arthritic and so every winter her owner makes sure she gets what she needs so the pain isn't so bad.

"In the winter they may require an anti-inflammatory," Lide said. "It's kind of like a puppy ibuprofen but much safer."

Like humans the very young and old suffer the most this time of year. So keep an eye on animals younger than 6 months and older than six years.

Mother Nature isn't the only winter hazard, holiday treats and decorations are also dangerous. So make sure your animal can't nibble on tinsel, chocolates or holiday plants like poinsettias because they can make them deathly ill.

As for the Christmas tree, keep it steady and try not to tempt your pets with wrapped presents.

"Think of them as two year old children," Lovell said. "That want to get into everything because they will."