CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - We protect ourselves from the cold weather and pets are just as vulnerable, especially walking around outside during snow, ice or even a wintry mix.
When winter sets in, Dr. Sean Byrd with Skyview Animal Clinic in Cape Girardeau, Missouri starts to see more cats and dogs with paw problems.
"They'll freeze their pads and they'll get ulcerations on their pads," Dr. Sean Byrd said. "We'll also see them have problems with the salt and chemicals that we put down and then burning their paws too."
Dr. Byrd said rubbing Vaseline on the bottom of your pet's paws before going outside can also create a protective barrier for a short period of time.
Outdoor cats typically don't like being cooped up inside, but it's important they have a solid shelter to go to curl up and stay warm.
It's the same story for dogs.
"If it's an isolated doghouse, then it needs to be well insulated and enclosed so that the dog's body heat can warm it up for them and there need to be a way to shut the opening," Dr. Byrd said. "The rule of thumb is if it's too cold for you, it's too cold for them."
Dr. Byrd says dehydration can also be an issue this time of year.
So, be sure to check your pup's outside water bowl often to make sure it's not frozen.
American Veterinary Medical Association and American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals also have some great tips.