Everything Animals: Preparing pets for winter - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Everything Animals: Preparing pets for winter

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BURLINGTON, Vt. -

Although the temperature is warmer than usual, winter is on its way. As we add clothing layers and bundle up, keep your pets in mind too.

Dr. Karen Bradley from the Onion River Animal Hospital visited the Morning Show to advise how to best prepare pets for the winter.

Dogs may need their paws checked for snow. Also, make sure to watch pets for cases of shivers. It is a sure sign it is too cold for them.

Dr. Bradley also warned that pet birds deserve attention during colder months. "Most of our birds are tropical. So if the temperature in your house is below 65, they often have to expend extra energy to fluff and keep warm which could suppress their immune system for prolonged periods of time."

Bradley advises, if you're putting on your sweater inside the house, then your bird is cold too.

The Vermont Veterinary Medical Association offers these tips when bracing your pet for the winter.

Bring pets indoors when the weather drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

Do not leave puppies, kittens and short haired pets outside for extended periods anytime the temperature is below 40 degrees.

Groom long-haired pets to protect their coats and keep them warm.

Pets can suffer from hypothermia and frostbite, thus outdoor pets need shelter to protect them from the elements. The shelter should be elevated off the ground. Straw and bedding can help keep heat. Also make sure to use heated water bowls and frequently fill it.

Cats enjoy warming up underneath car hoods. Make sure to pound the hood of the car before starting the engine to ensure no cat has crawled inside.

Inside the house, "pet-proof" your home. Keep an eye on pets around wood-burning stoves, fireplaces, and space heaters. These can cause severe burns. Younger pets can knock objects into these heat sources and cause fires.  Make sure candles are not in places where they can be tipped over. Cats have been known to knock them down and suffer serious burns to their fur as a result.

Watch the video to learn more.

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