Cold Weather care for Dogs & Cats
Here's some helpful tips from the University of Tennessee College of
Veterinary Medicine on caring for pets during cold weather and the holiday
Though temperatures may drop, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine says
pets that regularly live outdoors can handle cold weather, if they have proper
shelter and access to food and water.
In fact, bringing outside animals indoors may carry its own dangers. The
temptation to bring animals inside periodically during cold weather may reduce
their ability to use their natural devices to stay warm.
Instead, the UT College of Veterinary Medicine suggests allowing an animal
access to exterior buildings, typically not as warm as home interiors, as an
option. Extreme cold may require adding additional shelter, such as blankets
and straw in dog houses and protecting dog house openings from wind.
Pet owners should also be aware of several risks associated with allowing
animals in garages. Antifreeze is of particular concern, as it can be deadly
for dogs and cats that lick it from garage floors. Some environmentally safe
anti-freeze options are now available.
Another concern is for those who allow their cars to warm up for a period
of time before exiting the garage, which can expose pets to carbon monoxide
Kerosene heaters can pose a problem for inside pets because they may be
more rapidly exposed to carbon monoxide. Pets kept in garages are also more at
risk for accidentally being backed over as vehicles exit. Owners should be aware
that pets and other animals sometimes sleep under warm car hoods and can be
caught in fan belts. Thumping the hood before starting the car is advisable.
While outside animals need access to food and water year round,
exceptionally cold weather may result in water bowls freezing rapidly. Pet
owners should check water bowls several times daily to make certain fresh
water is available to dogs and cats. Dogs that stay inside may need to wear a
protective sweater when going outside during very cold weather, since they are
accustomed to warmth inside. Outside dogs do not need additional apparel
because of their heavier coats.
Feeding animals table Food
Because the digestive systems of animals are sensitive to diet, the UT
College of Veterinary Medicine says introducing table food suddenly to animals
who are used to pet food can cause serious problems.
Some foods in very limited amounts (just a bite or two) may be acceptable.
During holiday meals, the tendency to give the family dog large amounts of
leftover turkey can sometimes be harmful, causing pancreatitis--a serious and
often deadly condition in dogs.
In addition, dogs and cats can easily choke on poultry bones. As a
substitute treat, owners may provide pets with turkey- flavored canned pet
Chocolate is a particularly serious problem for dogs. A 20-pound dog that
eats a pound of chocolate can die. Smaller dogs can be impaired from less
amounts. Dogs can be easily tempted to eat chocolates within their reach, so
pet owners should place bowls of these candies in an area where pets cannot
Harmful holiday Items
The UT College of Veterinary Medicine warns that items used as holiday
decorations can cause serious problems for pets. Decorative plants, such as
mistletoe, can be very dangerous for animals.
Ingesting the berries from holly can cause mild cardiac stimulation in
animals. Poinsettia plants also cause severe irritation and blisters if
animals chew the leaves. Cats can spread the irritants during their regular
bathing activity, rubbing their faces with paws with poinsettia sap on them.
Washing the irritated areas with warm water can relieve mild symptoms, but
animals experiencing vomiting or diarrhea should be treated by a veterinarian
because of the possibility of dehydration.
Tree decorations such as tinsel and icicles are not only tempting for cats
to play with, but are also tempting for them to ingest. Cats ingesting tinsel
or icicles may require surgery because these objects can become wrapped within
Traveling with your Pet
Pets frequently accompany pet owners on trips during the holidays, so the UT
College of Veterinary Medicine recommends that certain considerations be made
for traveling animals.
If traveling by car, make certain your pet has enough room to move around.
It is best to place pets in a roomy pet carrier. If not in a carrier, animals
should be confined to back seats.
Never allow pets to sit in the laps of the front seat passenger or driver,
as animals can be seriously injured in accidents by being crushed between the
front seat passenger and the dash and may contribute to accidents if roaming
around the driver.
Stop every couple of hours and allow your pet to exercise or attend to
other needs. Provide access to water, or place one or two ice cubes in your
pet's water bowl in the vehicle. Traveling through strange surroundings may
cause excessive panting in dogs, which can lead to dehydration.
If traveling by air, contact the airline well in advance to determine its
specific regulations. Current health and rabies vaccination certificates are
required for air travel. Consult your veterinarian to determine if your animal
may require any tranquilizing medication, which should be used only when
absolutely necessary. Retrieve your animal promptly upon its arrival at the
Whether traveling by air or car, make sure your cat or dog is wearing a
collar with your phone number, including area code. Carry appropriate
certifications of vaccinations, as you may be asked by authorities to produce
rabies certificates or other health certificates when crossing state lines or
international borders such as Canada and Mexico. To determine health
requirements when traveling state to state, call (615) 360-0120; for
international requirements, call (615) 781-5310.
Boarding your pet while you travel also requires some planning. Animals
should be current on all vaccinations, including vaccinations for "kennel
cough" to protect your animal from contracting with this infectious
condition. For questions or concerns regarding these matters, please consult
your regular veterinarian.
University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine
Tippy & Alfred Say:
Tippy & Alfred wanted to remind you that cold weather puts extra stress
on your pet. Good nutrition and a healthy strong coat will go a long way
towards protecting your pet from Old Man Winter.
A high quality diet rich in protein and other essential nutrients is vital
to good health. Life's Abundance Premium Health Food and Canine Zone Weight
Loss Food both provide a solid daily nutritional foundation for your dog or
However, every dog & cat is different and requires one or more
additional nutrients to stay healthy. That's why Dr. Jane Bicks formulated the
second half of the Daily Nutritional System, the Advanced Daily Supplement.
This formula provides your dog or cat with the additional nutrients
necessary for good health plus powerful plant nutrients to support a healthy
To find out more about how Dr. Bick's Daily Nutritional System
can help your pet:
Tippy & Alfred's Delicious Cuisine for Cats & Dogs here
Often a dog or cat's skin will have problems with weather changes.
Then Dr. Jane Bicks recommends her:
Skin & Coat Formula for Dogs & Cats
The Skin & Coat Formula has been clinically tested in over 40
veterinary Clinics and proven effective based on six years and
thousands of satisfied users.
Discover more about how Dr. Jane's formula can help your pet
by going to the above link for Tippy and Alfred's Dining Cuisine.
Pet Care Tips
Supplies to keep your pet