Dog paws with human hands on top.

It’s that time of the year again: sweater weather! There is so much to enjoy about winter in Knoxville, but not everyone loves the shorter days or chilly mornings. Pets might not necessarily know what’s going on with the weather, but they are certainly affected by it. The good news is that there aren’t too many extremes to worry about. However, winter pet safety is a concern that benefits from a proactive approach. 

Warm and Cozy

The weather should not impede your routine. Keep up the daily walks to ward off any lethargy or stiffness in the joints. The exercise will help your pet’s body and brain stay active and engaged throughout the winter. Since many pets and their owners have to exercise after work, outfit your pup with reflective clothing, lighting, and a comforting sweater or vest.

When you arrive home from outdoor activities, rinse your pet’s paws with warm water. This will wash off any salt or de-icer and keep the paw pads clear of any debris. To reduce any cracks in their skin, apply a smooth layer of pet-friendly moisturizer. 

Your pet might enjoy a self-warming pet bed to soothe any aches or pains. Be sure that their bed is far away from drafts.

Keeping Trim

We all have a tendency to put on a little weight during the long winter months. Carefully weigh or measure your pet’s food for every meal to ensure they aren’t consuming extra calories. Limit treats and be mindful about indulgent winter foods filling the kitchen. 

Getting Stuck Outside

If you have an indoor-outdoor cat, it’s a good idea to take certain measures that guarantee their safety and comfort. A microchip scanning cat door is key to letting them back inside the warm house. Always tap the hood of your vehicle before you start up the engine, as cats are known to take refuge there. A specially-heated cat house can ward off the symptoms of hypothermia until you or someone can let your cat indoors. 

Indoor cats arguably have it much safer than those allowed to roam, but they can be subject to the doldrums of winter. Increasing the variety of toys or activities inside the home can ward off depression and anxiety. 

Antifreeze Risks

Probably one of the worst offenders to winter pet safety is the fact that antifreeze can be readily found by unsuspecting or curious pets. With a slightly sweet smell and taste, antifreeze lures pets in for a sample. Before long, they could be victims of severe poisoning. Luckily, there are alternative products in the form of propylene glycol. Stock up on the pet-safe products for your own vehicles, and reduce the risk of your pet lick up fallen puddles in the neighborhood by keeping them on leash or indoors all the time. 

Winter Pet Safety

If you are concerned about your pet’s behavior or overall wellness, please give us a call at (865) 609-0311.Our veterinarians are always happy to help you at  Volunteer Veterinary Hospital