VCA Pacific Petcare Animal Hospital
Published: Nov 09, 2012

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In several states in the U.S., snow has already fallen, which means pet owners should be thinking about how to care for their four-legged companions during the winter season. If you adopted a dog in the past few months, there may be some items you need to stock up on to make sure your pet is set until spring arrives, so here are some tips.

What you need for walks
Walking outside in the winter isn't always a treat, but it's important to make sure your dog gets regular exercise 365 days a year. You may have seen some dogs walking around with jackets, which can look a bit silly, but sometimes it's necessary. While canines who have big, heavy coats will likely be fine outside during walks, dogs who have short fur or none at all might need an extra layer to ward off the cold. Other dogs may not like the wetness of winter weather, and will appreciate a jacket that protects them from snow or rain.

Speaking of which, if you live in an area where there's lots of snow, then you may want to buy protection for your dog's paws. It's not the actual snow itself that can cause your canine harm, but rather the salt that some people put out to help break up ice on sidewalks and driveways. Sometimes, this salt can cause pain in dogs if it gets wedged between the pads of their paws. You can invest in booties for your dog, or a salve that helps protect her pads. Visit a pet health clinic to see if your vet has any recommendations.

Always be prepared
Remember that blizzards and ice storms can cause power outages during the winter months. If you live in an area prone to such natural disasters, you'll need to stock up not only for yourself, but also for your pet. Be sure that you have plenty of food to keep her satisfied for at least a week, and ask your vet for extra pet medications if your pet has an illness that requires regular treatment, such as diabetes insipidus in dogs.

While some dogs may become more relaxed and content to laze around in the winter, especially if you keep your house warm, be sure that such behavior isn't an indication of an illness. If your dog suddenly seems to lack energy or appears depressed, it's essential that you bring her to one of the nearby vet clinics for medical attention right away.


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.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.