Winter is very cold in the Fraser Valley. Here are some tips to helping pets keep healthy and happy during this season of cold and ice. If you are putting on a jacket and warm boots make sure your pet is also taken care of.

1. Feed them well – the energy needed to keep a pet warm is very high so they need to eat more calories if they are going outside.

2. For small dogs and dogs with thin coats DRESS them for the winter – Many pet stores carry pet coats so do make sure you are choosing well for your pet. Booties are wonderful for dogs when they go for walks in the cold. Small dogs have a lot of skin surface area compared to their small mass . This means they loose heat faster than a large dog. They will be much more susceptible to the cold. When their body temperature drops enough they will be more susceptible to pneumonia and kennel cough.

3. Make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations. In cold weather we see kennel cough in dogs and the upper respiratory diseases and conjunctivitis in cats. These viruses love to grow in cold airways in our pets.

4. Do not let them go outside for too long – especially if they are old or sick. Keep them warm and make sure they are drinking lots of water.

5. At no times should dogs be outside in the back of a truck and especially not in the winter. The wind chill will be dangerous to them. Keep them in the cab.