VCA Old Town Animal Hospital
By Carol Petit
Published: December 16, 2010

Back to News

"Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful!" We all sing along and think so fondly of the cold snowy days and warm fires to keep us toasty! Our family pets may not have the same vision of winter that we do. Cold weather, snow and ice can be very harsh on little feet with no boots. Here are some suggestions to keep our furry friends safe in the winter weather.

*Keep all pets indoors when the temperature is below freezing.
*For outdoor pets in winter weather, be sure to have proper shelter and water that is not frozen
*After walks outside be sure to wipe your pet's feet and belly with a damp cloth to clean any salt, snow, sand away. These things can irritate feet and should never be licked off.
*Do not leave your dog or cat in a car during cold weather.
*Watch for signs of hypothermia if your pet is left outdoors unintentionally: Slow pulse, shallow breathing, disorientation, collapse.
*Ears and paws are suceptible to frostbite
*Antifreeze can be lethal for dogs and cats.� Clean up any spills, and if you believe some has been ingested, visit your veterinarian immediately.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately.  If it is after hours, please contact one of the following nearby emergency care clinics:

VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital 703-751-2022.

VCA  Southpaws Referral Center 703-752-0100                                                              

Please request that they send a report to us so we can follow up with you later.