IN Ross Township Winter 2021 - Page 30

HEALTH & WELLNESS
SPECIAL SECTION

Pet Health

• Change up your pet ’ s exercise routine – Outdoor walks may be limited in cold winter months , so change your play routine to ensure adequate exercise for your pet . See if your community has an indoor recreation area to get out some energy .
• Adjust food portion sizes – To accommodate the fluctuation in activity , adjust the amount of food and treats you give to your pet . Avoiding weight gain during months that your pet is more sedentary is important .
• Limit bathing – Natural oils help your pet maintain a healthy coat during dry winter months . Be sure to keep bathing to a minimum to reduce skin issues . If you need to bathe your pets , be sure to dry them thoroughly , even if they are staying in the house .
• Pets need moisturizer , too – In addition to limiting baths , help prevent dry skin with coconut oil , a natural moisturizer that can aid flaky or cracking skin .
• Wipe away chemicals – Wash and dry your pet ’ s paws and stomach to remove chemicals from road salt after outdoor walks . These chemicals can cause burns to paws and skin if not removed ( plus you don ’ t want them in your house ). If your dog has furry feet , trim the fur between the pads to prevent build-up of ice and snow .
• Prevent burns – Block off heat sources such as fireplaces and space heaters to prevent burns and accidents .
• Warm bed – Keep your pet ’ s sleeping area away from drafty doors and cold floors . Providing a cozy bed will help keep pets warm during cold months .
• Watch for hazardous edibles – Keep holiday ornaments , lights , poinsettias , alcohol , and chocolate out of reach to prevent accidental ingestion . If you suspect your pet has ingested something hazardous , call your vet immediately .
• Never leave your pet unattended in the car – No matter what season it is , do not leave your pet in the car . Freezing cold temperatures are equally as dangerous as the heat of the summer months . Leave your pet at home , or find a pet sitter to stop by to visit while you ’ re out .

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