Polar Vortex Returns: AVMA Podcast: Protect Your Pets During Cold Weather


(SCHAUMBURG, Ill.) December 30, 2013—The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) reminds pet owners in a new podcast that winter weather brings a host of potential hazards for pets, but with some preparation pets can be healthy and comfortable until the spring thaw.

“Most pet owners seem to worry about their pets overheating in the summer, but tend to overlook the dangers of cold weather. Their fur coats don’t always provide the necessary protection from the cold, particularly for small animals when the weather becomes extremely cold,” explains Dr. Douglas G. Aspros, immediate past president of the AVMA. “When it does get cold, pay close attention for signs of cold stress. They are likely to shiver initially, and may become lethargic if they become very cold.”

Dr. Aspros recommended, first and foremost, bringing pets indoors during colder weather. Getting animals out of the wind can do a great deal to help keep pets warm and safe.

Other winter tips in the podcast included:

  • Protect your pet’s feet in the winter. Ice and the icy crust that can form on top of snow can cause cuts and abrasions to paws.
  • Watch pets around frozen lakes and rivers and slippery staircases, which pose risks for injuries.
  • Be careful before starting your car. Cats and other animals often climb on top of car engines for warmth.
  • He also talked about the importance of making a pet’s outdoor housing warm for the most bitterly cold months of the year.
  • Finally, he stressed the importance of staying active and healthy during cold winter months.

Listen to the podcast at: http://www.avmamedia.org/display.asp?sid=553&NAME=Cold_Weather_Pet_Safety.

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The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 84,000 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.


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