Radnor Veterinary Hospital Urges Pet Owners to Prepare Now for Winter Weather

WAYNE, Pa., Nov. 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- With the colder winter months right around the corner, Wayne veterinarian Dr. Len Donato is urging pet owners to prepare now for winter weather, including snowstorms. The veterinarian says that all pets should be kept inside during a storm, including cats that normally spend time outside, as both cats and dogs can easily become lost. Pets that spend time outside are at increased risk for hypothermia, a medical condition characterized by extremely low body temperature. Smaller dogs may need jackets or coats before going outside, and pet owners should limit the time their pets spend in snow or cold weather, cautions Dr. Donato.

Dr. Donato and the Radnor Veterinary Hospital team recommend that pet owners keep their cats inside during winter storms and colder days.

“Cats that are outside during a winter storm can become lost or freeze,” said Dr. Donato. “They are at increased risk for exposure to infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats and wild animals. The safest place for a cat during winter weather is inside.”

The veterinarian says that cats often like to sleep under the hoods of cars. Pet owners should be cautious when starting cars on cold days; otherwise, when the car is started, the motor or fan belt can seriously injure or even kill a cat.

After pets spend time outside, Dr. Donato says pet owners need to thoroughly wipe down a pets legs, stomach and paws. Salt, antifreeze and other potentially dangerous chemicals could be on the paws after walking outside in the snow, sleet or ice.

Pet owners should never leave their pets alone for extended periods in the car, as this increases the risk for hypothermia.

“Just like how a car can act as an oven in the summer months, it can also act like a refrigerator during the winter months,” said Dr. Donato. “Animals who are left alone in a car for extended periods can become seriously ill or even freeze to death. Should pet owners see an animal in a car for an extended period, they should look for the owner or contact authorities in order to save the pet’s life.”

Inside the house, Dr. Donato says that there are steps that pet owners can take to make their pets more comfortable in the colder winter months. These steps include making sure the dog or cat has a warm place to sleep off the floor and away from any drafts. Pets that are especially active outside during the winter months will burn more calories and need increased food in order to stay active.

“The most important thing pet owners can do to protect their pets is to ensure they are microchipped,” said Dr. Donato.

Radnor Veterinary Hospital provides full service veterinary care, including pet microchipping. For more information, visit www.radnorvet.com or call 610-687-1550.


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