SOURCE: Richman Animal Clinic

November 06, 2011 09:05 ET

Richmond Heights Veterinary Hospital Offers Cold Weather Tips

RICHMOND HEIGHTS, OH--(Marketwire - Nov 6, 2011) - As Ohio residents make preparations for winter's inevitable approach, so do Richmond Heights veterinarians, including one animal clinic offering helpful tips to help pet owners take the proper precautions. The veterinarians and staff at Richman Animal Clinic advise pet owners to make several preparations for pets as the weather turns colder. As Richmond Heights, Euclid, Highland Heights, and the surrounding communities of Lyndhurst and Lake County are subject to severe winter weather, the animal clinic is concerned for pets that are often let outside or kept outdoors.

Dr. Jeffrey A. Richman of Richman Animal Clinic observes that some pet owners think their pets have a special immunity to cold if they are used to living outdoors. "Animals can freeze just like people can, and veterinarians see hypothermia all the time," says the vet. "Even if your dog or cat regularly lives and sleeps outdoors, once the temperature drops below 32 degrees Fahrenheit it's time to make sure your pet is protected against the cold."

The animal clinic recommends that pet owners who cannot bring their pet into the home should create a space in the garage or other area that blocks icy winds or precipitation, noting that that warm bedding should consist of blankets, straw or other materials that retain body warmth. Dogs who like to chew, however, may require bedding that can resist being shredded and eaten. Dr. Richman adds that old or arthritic animals may have a special need for softer, warmer bedding. If the pet takes up residence in the garage, owners must remove any traces of anti-freeze from the area. The Richmond Heights veterinarians warn that this product, so commonly employed in colder temperatures, is fatal if ingested and requires an emergency trip to an animal hospital.

According to the clinic, pet owners may also need to pay extra attention to food and water levels during freezing weather, because water that has turned to ice cannot provide enough ready moisture to keep an animal hydrated. Pets also need to eat more during colder weather, adds Dr. Richman, because maintaining a normal body temperature in such conditions requires extra fuel.

Dr. Richman's animal hospital also warns against other cold-weather issues that may call for the attention of a vet. For example, dogs and cats that walk over de-icing salts or chemicals can develop chapped or irritated paws. Licking the paws only causes the pet more problems, as the salts or chemicals can cause digestive troubles.

Dr. Richman advises owners to wipe off their pets' paws after they come in from the cold, or to look into the purchase of special boots that will prevent external irritation. Ice itself can prove hazardous if a pet walks across a frozen pond that cannot hold its weight. "Keeping your pet away from even a solid-looking body of ice could prevent a trip to our animal hospital," says the Richmond Heights veterinarian.

Dr. Richman states that pets who develop hypothermia or ingest a toxic substance will need immediate medical assistance: "We treat pets from all over the area, including Highland Heights, Euclid, Lyndhurst, Beachwood, and Gates Mills." Owners can ascertain the need for an emergency vet visit by contacting our clinic directly. More information about the clinic is available through its website at

Contact Information

  • Richman Animal Clinic
    Richmond Heights, OH