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560 Huntington St. Shelton, CT 06484
203-929-7297
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Winter Pet Care Tips

Housing

It is best to keep pets indoors during the winter, but if this is not possible then an outdoor shelter must be provided. The outdoor shelter should be elevated off the ground (to prevent moisture accumulation) and have a door to protect your pet from the wind, sleet, and snow. Shelters should be insulated or heated.

Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm so you will need to increase the caloric intake as the temperature drops. Water sources must be heated to prevent the water from freezing. Thermal units designed for this purpose are available. In severe weather NO pet should be kept outside. Indoor pets should have sleeping quarters in a draft free, warm area with their bed or mattress elevated slightly off the floor.

Roaming Cats

Roaming cats as well as wildlife may climb into vehicle engines for warmth during cold weather. Be sure to check under the hood before starting your car and honk the horn to startle any animal that may be seeking shelter in the engine of your car.

Frostbite and Snow Removal Salt

Snow and salt should be removed from your pets' paws immediately. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm moist towels to thaw out any frostbitten areas SLOWLY until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care. Snow removal products should be stored out of reach of pets and small children because they are toxic.

Toxic Plants and Holiday Winter Products

If your pet has ingested something and you are uncertain of its toxicity contact your veterinarian, animal poison control and the manufacturer for specifics. The earlier you seek treatment the better it is for your pet.

  • Low toxicity: poinsettia leaves and stem, balsam/pine/cedar/fir, angel hair (spun glass), Christmas tree preservatives, snow sprays/snow flock, tree ornaments, super glue, styrofoam, tinsel, and crayons/paint
  • Moderate toxicity: fireplace colors/salts, plastic model cement
  • Moderate to high toxicity: holly berries and leaves, bubbling lights (methylene chloride), snow scenes (may contain salmonella), aftershaves/perfumes/alcoholic beverages, chocolate
  • High toxicity: mistletoe (especially berries), epoxy adhesives, antifreeze

OTHER HOLIDAY CONCERNS

If you plan to take your pet during holiday visits make sure the pet is welcome first (it may be better to board your pet or hire a pet sitter.) Holiday treats such as fatty foods, bones from fish, pork or poultry should be avoided. Avoid alcoholic beverages and chocolate. Do not allow friends or relatives to give your dog special treats, it could ruin everyone's holiday. Do not allow pets to play with ribbon, yarn, or 6-pack beverage holders. Do not put ribbon or yarn around your pet's neck. If you want to decorate your pet invest in a holiday collar. Cover and tack down electrical cords.


Summer Pet Tips


Water is a Pet’s Best Friend  Keep fresh drinking water available at all times. Make sure to bring water for your pet when walking, hiking, or playing outside. 


Don’t Park Your Pet Never leave your pet in a parked car.  The air in a parked car doesn’t circulate and, even in the shade, the temperature in a vehicle will start to rise and become life threatening in just a few minutes.


Rules for Pools  Like children pets should never be left unattended around the pool.


Block That Sun Pets with light-colored skin/fur can get sunburned. Pet stores stock pet safe sun block that can be used on unprotected areas like the nose and ears.


Make Some Shade - Be sure to always have a sheltered cool area available to your pet. A kiddie pool in the shade can make a nice oasis on warm days.


Noon is No Time for a Walk If you’re used to taking your dog for a walk mid-day, take morning or evening walks instead. Hot pavement can burn a dog’s pads, and walking outdoors during the hottest time of the day can lead to overheating issues.


Keep the Bugs Off  Fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes can transmit a number of diseases. Please ask our staff about parasite prevention.


BE AWARE Summer can be a particularly difficult time for overweight dogs and cats.  They can overheat faster due to the fact that the extra layers of fat act as insulation, trapping heat and restricting breathing.


Toxic Plants & Foods

As mentioned previously some plants can be harmful and even fatal to your pet if ingested as well as some everyday foods. Please be aware of the plants you have in your house and garden and in the foods you may allow your pet to eat!!! 

Click here to see common toxic plants

Click here to see common toxic foods


Emergency Numbers

Pet Poison Helpline
1-800-213-6680
This center is sponsored by the ASPCA and staffed by board certified veterinary toxicologist.
There is a $55 charge for a consult. 

Shoreline Animal Emergency & Referral Center
895 Bridgeport Ave
Shelton CT 06484
203-929-8600
24-hours a day, 365 days per year

Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center
123 West Cedar Street
Norwalk, CT 06854
203-854-9960
24-hours a day, 365 days per year     

New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine
843 State Street
New Haven, CT 06511
203 865-0878
24 hours a day 365 days per year


Local Rescue Organizations


Animal Control Offices/Shelters

  • Trumbull: 452-5088
  • Shelton: 924-2501
  • Stratford: 385-4068
  • Bridgeport: 576-7727
  • Ansonia: 732-7013
  • Derby: 736-1467
  • Seymour: 881-7600 (police department)

Veterinary Topics