Autumn timeMild winters are one of the perks of living in the South, and Charlotte is no exception! Although many of our winter days are bright and sunny, temperatures can and often do dip below freezing at night, and blustery winds and the occasional snowfall are not unheard of.

Winter pet care is an important consideration for pet owners, even in balmy North Carolina. Your team at Long Animal Hospital and Emergency Center is happy to help you come up with a strategy to keep your pet warm as temperatures drop.

Winter Pet Care

  • Exercise – There are few excuses to skip the daily walk or play session during a Charlotte winter. A sweater for small pets or those with very little fur will keep them warm and toasty on chilly days.
  • Diet – Some pets may need modifications to their diets during winter to avoid seasonal weight gain. Your veterinarian will be happy to help you come up with a plan to keep your pet on track.
  • Winter grooming – Keep winter haircuts to a minimum, as longer coats may provide extra warmth for pets who spend time outdoors.

There’s no doubt about it, the best place for pets during the colder months is indoors. If you must leave your pet outdoors for long periods of time, be sure to provide a warm, dry shelter that has adequate protection from the wind and a soft place to sleep.  And don’t forget about clean, fresh water!

Garage Concerns

Antifreeze is lethal to pets, even in tiny amounts, and the sweet smell and taste make it irresistible to many cats and dogs. Use a pet-safe alternative for your own vehicle and clean up any spills you see immediately. Notify your neighbors if you notice that they have a leak.

The engine block of a car can make a warm spot for a cold kitty to pass the evening. If you don’t park in a garage, make sure to bang on the hood of your car to scare off any cats who might be snoozing there before starting the engine.

About Those Seniors

Senior pets are especially vulnerable to cooler temperatures, and this time of year can be difficult for pets who suffer from arthritis or other joint conditions.  Special care should be taken to make sure senior pets stay dry and don’t get too cold.

We encourage you to bring your senior pet in for a wellness checkup twice a year. Your veterinarian will go over winter pet care strategies to ensure a warm and comfortable season for your fur friend.

If you have any questions or concerns, or need to schedule a winter wellness visit, please don’t hesitate to give us a call!