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Keep Your Pet's Feet Safe in Winter

The recent snowfalls may be annoying, troublesome and whine-worthy, but one group in the population affected by the seemingly endless snowfalls never seems to complain—your pet.

Extreme winter weather poses hazards to animals, said Dr. Sean Bell, owner of Greenwich Veterinary Center. Pet owners should take precautions to ensure the safety of their outdoor-going pets, he said.

"Hypothermia doesn't happen to dogs often in Greenwich, but dogs shouldn't be left outside for extended periods of time," said Bell. "They can go outside and play for an hour or so in the snow, just like children, but should never be left out at night." Keeping your frolicking pet indoors until the spring thaw is next to impossible. Pay attention to their needs during extreme winter weather. As "parents," it's our job to keep them safe.

Though Bell says pet owners of Greenwich are attentive and tuned in to their pets' needs, they should be wary of foot injuries that may result from walking or running on snow or ice. "Their feet can chafe or chap, and even road salt can burn their feet," said Bell. "It's always a good recommendation to rinse or wipe their feet off when they come in from outside." He said dog boots are an option, though some dogs won't tolerate having their feet covered for long.

Deep snow, such as the blanket covering Fairfield County, needs to be shoveled adequately to create an area for dogs to relieve themselves. "Owners should shovel off an area with easy access," said Bell. "If there are no other areas for them to go like parks that may not be shoveled, you may need to take matters into your own hands."

Click here for more information about keeping your pets safe during the winter. Also, visit the ASPCA website for additional tips.

How do you keep your pets safe during the winter? Do you close your doggy-door so your animals won't venture out into the cold night? Comment below or email ahelhoski@mainstreetconnect.us .

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