Protect your pets from winter pitfalls

NORWICH – Although this week brought above-average temperatures to the region, more seasonable weather is on its way, beckoning pet owners to take measures to ensure their four-legged companions are cared for in harsh winter conditions.

“Some people assume that because their pets have heavy fur coats that they’re better off in the cold. That’s just not true in many cases,” explained Lisa Mullin, veterinary technician at Pet Street Station Animal Hospital in Norwich.

According to Mullin, it’s a common misconception many pet owners have that dogs and cats can withstand the cold for long periods of time. She warns if pet owners are not cautious, winter weather could take a serious toll on their animal. “In many respects, pets are a lot like humans in that they are susceptible to cold weather and winter conditions,” she said. “They can get frost bite or hypothermia that can even result in death from exposure.”

Mullin explained that while some dog breeds are inherently equipped to deal with cold weather conditions, the more lean, short-haired breeds may require a little extra care, paticularly if they are accustomed to being indoors. “If they are used to being in the house, they shouldn’t be left outdoors for long periods of time,” she said. She also recommended that dogs without heavy fur even be wrapped in a specially designed coat for a little extra warmth.

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