(WJBK) - The Oakland County Animal Control and Pet Adoption Center suggests to keep your pets indoors, especially if the weather is very cold or very hot. But, if you are going to be leaving your pet outdoors; here are some tips to keep them healthy and safe.
The first thing should be a trip to the veterinarian. Dogs and cats kept outside need more nourishment during colder months to prevent hypothermia. Your veterinarian may suggest to up your animals food intake or for you to switch to a more nutritionally packed food. Your veterinarian will also help you keep your pet up-to-date on their vaccinations. Pets kept outside are more likely to come in contact with parasites and diseases; like heartworm. Make sure your veterinarian tests for this deadly disease and a preventative is provided for your pet's protection.
Providing a well insulated shelter is key. Use straw, not hay or blankets to insulate. Straw has an insulating quality that hay and blankets do not.
Providing fresh water at all times is imperative to your pet's health.
Use pet friendly salt to melt ice. If you cannot avoid regular salt and it does come in contact with your pet's paws, rinse with water as soon as possible to minimize the side effects. You may want to invest in some booties for your pooch if you are going to be walking where regular salt is being used.
This week's pet of the week is Levi. He is curly-coated retriever mixed with chow chow. He is 2 years old. Levi does have heartworm. This is a parasite that infects the heart; however with treatment Levi can lead a very full and healthy life. If you are interested in adopting Levi, or would like more information about keeping your pet healthy visit our website at www.oakgov.com/petadoption.