Tips for a healthy, safe pet this winter in Wenatchee

Hopefully the coldest and snowiest weather is behind us and a return to El Nino weather patterns is expected.

However, more snow and sleet conditions could return and depending on your elevation, you may be in areas where rain will still fall as snow in your neighborhood.

That’s why the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society (WVHS) is sharing a few seasonal tips to keep pets safe for the remaining winter months.

“We care deeply about our cats and dogs, and we want the best for all animals in the community,” said WVHS Executive Director James Pumphrey. “At this time of year, it’s even more important to take steps to ensure they are taken care of when the weather is more severe.”

Plan ahead for emergencies. Just as you are aware of how the weather forecast may affect your home in the event of power outages and prolonged cold weather, consider your pets’ needs as well. This can include storing extra food, water, any medicine your pet needs. If the power goes out, extra blankets, and pet jackets or sweaters will keep your pet comfortable. Remember that in cold weather your pet will need to expend more energy to stay warm so they will need some extra calories in cold weather.

Look at those claws Snowy, icy sidewalks or just walking around in snow can dry out your dog’s paws. Some people use claw boots if their dog will tolerate them. Paw Wax is a specially formulated product that you can apply to your dog’s paws that can reduce the drying effects of frozen sidewalks and prevent cracks in their pads. Allowing your dog’s coat to be a little heavier will help insulate them somewhat, especially if the breed is not double-coated. Also consider a jacket or sweater. Now if you have a husky or another breed that likes winter weather, enjoy the weather but remember that even the sled dogs on the Iditarod wear snowshoes.

Straps for a safe ride. The Wenatchee Humane Society reminds that many pets are lost in the winter. Waterways that appear to be frozen, such as ponds, lakes, and streams, present hazards that can lead to hypothermia if a pet falls through the ice. A dog was recently rescued from an icy swimming pool at an abandoned pond in Wenatchee by Wenatchee Animal Control officers after an alert neighbor saw the dog in distress.

Is your dog dealing with a cold? Your pet may not tolerate much time out of doors, especially if it is one of the toy breeds. Try to gauge their comfort level and plan accordingly.

Outdoor living Outdoor shelters should be insulated and free from drafts. Make sure the dog has enough room to move around and try to dress him in a winter coat. Bedding material such as straw will separate them from the shelter floor as they lie down. Try to move the entrance away from the prevailing wind direction that will carry the snow into the shelter. Don’t forget to provide an external approved heat source and hot water source.

Be careful with antifreeze When handling antifreeze during vehicle maintenance this or any time of the year, be careful not to spill any. The chemicals have a sweet taste and are attractive but can sometimes be fatal to pets, so take precautions to avoid exposure and keep these and other chemicals away from pets.

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Gallery Credit: Credit: Matteo, 103.5 KISS FM

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