Winter Is Coming! Bundle Up Your Dogs And Cats.
Virginia may not be the North Pole, but it does get its share of cold weather. However, many owners take for granted that their pets aren’t built for a cold snap. For instance: Dogs may have issues going to the bathroom in the freezing cold. Cats may freeze to death when left outside overnight. Reptiles and amphibians rely on consistent ambient temperature to regulate their digestion and immune system, so a comfortable thermostat setting for you might throw their biology into disarray.
Dogs can benefit from coats and even boots. Sometimes erecting a small shelter out of a couple pieces of wood can be enough to help your canine friends go outside in the rain or snow long enough to do their business. Cats should never be left outdoors during the winter, but if yours sneaks out, you should provide it shelter near, or inside a building so that they do not freeze in the sub-zero climate. Also, make sure there’s a supply of warm, non-frozen, water for them to drink—typical outdoor sources typically freeze over. Staying hydrated can mean life or death for animals in the cold.
If you have reptiles in your house, it is a good idea to monitor their tank temperature with a thermometer. Cold weather can cause drastic fluctuations in temperature even inside homes. An average reptile’s enclosure should never have an ambient temperature that dips below 72 degrees Fahrenheit at any time. Cold temperatures can cause a hibernation-like state, slow or even stop your reptile’s metabolism and immune system. If the temperatures do get below 72 on a regular basis, you may need an overhead or ambient heat source for the room. Also, many reptiles need specific humidity levels to survive. Since winter weather tends to be dry, you should buy a hygrometer to make sure their tank humidity stays at a healthy level.
Whatever kind of animal companion you own, make sure you take the necessary measures to keep it safe this winter. If you have any questions, or your animals seem distressed by the cold, call CEDARCREST Animal Clinic at (540) 943-7577.
CEDARCREST Animal Clinic provides medical and surgical care for every stage of your pet's life including preventive wellness care exams and vaccines, spays/neuters, and a variety of specialized care for your dog, cat, avian, or exotic. We are home to the only veterinarian practitioner in Virginia to be double Boarded in Avian and Canine/Feline care and provide care for birds, small mammals, and reptiles of all sorts! Plus, we are home to Virginia's most exclusive dog boarding resort that includes heated floors, an expansive play area, and even webcams so you can watch your pet while you're away. We're located in Fishersville, Virginia, and serve Augusta County and surrounding areas including Waynesboro, Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Charlottesville.
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