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How to Protect Your Pets this Winter

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EUGENE, Ore. — It is easy to remember to protect ourselves from the elements, but what about our pets?

Dr. Jerry Boggs DVM of the Bush Animal Hospital says coats and boots for animals can help keep man’s best friend safe this winter.

“The raincoats, as silly as they might look, for dogs, i think, that live in our houses, that are used to the warm temperatures, that walk outside in the rain,” said Dr. Boggs.

But what about dog boots?

“The booties, certainly up in the snow can have some relevance, depending on the type of animal, what they are doing to keep the snow off their feet,” Dr. Boggs said. “For some individuals it may be a fashion point, but it can be particularly useful; especially for small animals, short-coated animals.”

There are common winter activities that could end with a trip to the vet.    Cuddling up by the fire in the winter sounds good to our pets too, but watch out for those home heat sources that could burn your cat or dogs paws.

“Not an uncommon thing, is that people heat with wood stoves, with pelted stoves, and those stoves sit around during the year and are never a problem; cats jump up on them. Then they put a little wood in them and they get hot…We have seen terrible burns associated with that also,” Dr. Boggs said.

When it comes to snow, dogs love to play in the white stuff; but, watch out for dehydration and in extreme cases, hypothermia.

“When going up in the mountains, a lot of times people forget how cold it could be and animals aren’t used to that, running in the snow just like the rest of us; it can be exhausting, they can become dehydrated,” Dr. Boggs said.

And although snow at lower elevations is uncommon, overnight temperatures can fall below freezing. If you have an outdoor pet, it is important to check their water bowl and make sure it isn’t frozen.

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