southern exposure

Winter in northern climates presents a bevy of health hazards for pets. From antifreeze to snow blindness, the drop in mercury keeps pet owners on their toes. But even for the lucky who live in more temperate climates, winter comes with challenges unrelated to the cold.

Cold-blooded wildlife may hibernate even in locations with mild winters, but on warmer days, they’ll come out for a quick warm-up. Those breaks in the weather will likely have you and your family venturing out, so be careful of snakes and scorpions, who may be sharing the sun’s rays.

In a similar vein, ticks and mosquitos take advantage of warm weather — and some species of mosquitos complete their life cycle in as few as four days! Don’t let winter make you lax about flea and tick prevention, and keep your pet on a heartworm preventive year-round if you live in a temperate climate.

Finally, don’t forget about heat stroke. Even in winter, warm days produce hot cars — and it may not cross your mind that your dog could overheat in a matter of minutes. Never leave your dog locked in a car unattended, even if you’re just running a few errands.

Just because Jack Frost doesn’t visit your neck of the woods, winter is no time to relax when it comes to your pet’s health!