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Protect your pets in the winter weather

Here are simple ways to make your dogs and cats more comfortable when snow falls and temperatures drop.

Most dogs - and a few brave cats - love to play in the snow. There are simple precautions that pet owners should take to ensure their 'best friend' has fun and stays safe. 

Here are some great tips from Seattle Humane. 

Bring a towel on walks

Dogs with wet bellies and legs could have a rapid drop in their body temperature, so check them every so often and towel off as needed. Also bring along plenty of water to help keep your pup hydrated. 

Get them a coat

Dogs who go out frequently could benefit from an extra layer of protection from the cold. A nice jacket also keeps them dry. Fleece may be enough for larger dogs, while smaller ones could use extra protection.

Check their paws 

Cold, damp weather and sanded sidewalks can lead to cracked paws. You may want to use a pet protection wax as a barrier between paws and the ground. Be sure to check paws and toes after a walk, and clean out any dirt and other debris. You could also use special dog boots to keep their feet protected. 

Cut back on baths

You may be tempted to give your dog more baths in the winter but it could dry out their skin. It's still best to wash them if they get dirty or muddy after playing outside, so get a good moisturizing pet shampoo.

Beware car dangers

A car can act like a refrigerator and cool down quickly, putting your pet at risk for a drop in body temperature. Do not leave a pet unattended in a car for more than a few minutes. 

Also be aware of the dangers of anti-freeze. Dogs may lick up spills because it tastes sweet, but it can be toxic. If you suspect antifreeze poisoning, get your pet to the veterinarian immediately.

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