How to protect your pets during winter

1:25 PM, Jan 3, 2014   |    comments
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(WUSA9/KSVN) -- A furry coat doesn't mean your pet has all it needs this winter. Kansas State University veterinarian Susan Nelson has tips for protecting your pet from the cold.

For outdoor pets, make sure they have shelter that is larger than the animal and faces south or west so it's not catching the north wind. Inside, use clean hay or straw instead of blankets to trap heat.

Keep a close eye on pets' water. Nelson says, "Make sure you're checking their water bowls minimum twice a day. They will quickly freeze over in this kind of weather so you want to make sure they have water. They can dehydrate as easily in the winter as they can in the summer if that water bowl is frozen over."

Animals burn more calories in the cold so you may want to feed them a little extra.

For indoor animals, wipe their paws when they come inside so the ice doesn't irritate their feet. Some shorthaired dogs may need booties or a sweater.

Keep your animals away from one of the biggest hazards fo the winter -- antifreeze.

"It takes a very, very small amount. We're talking teaspoons or less of antifreeze to kill one of our pets so we have to be very careful," stated Nelson.

Rat poison is also deadly for pets so keep it out of the house.

One final tip: if you have an outdoor cat, honk your horn before starting your car. Cats like to stay near the warm engine during winter.

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