Cold weather tips for your pet

Wisconsin State Farmer

Greenfield — Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals (MECA) has just released their list of cold weather tips for pet owners in Wisconsin. Every year, MECA sees a large number of clients bringing their pets in for weather-related injuries. While most of the injuries are treatable, there are plenty of life-threatening dangers that pets encounter every day during the cold weather months.

Marla Lichtenberger, DVM, DACVECC of MECA says, "It only takes a little thought to keep your furry friends safe when the weather turns cold. Their needs are simple: food, shelter, warmth and love. When the weather changes and you begin to stay indoors more often, don't forget your four-legged family members' well-being, too!"

She continues, "Cold weather is on its way! Please keep the following suggestions in mind for the safety of your pets."

It only takes a little thought to keep your furry friends safe when the weather turns cold.

MECA's cold weather tips

1) Keep your pets indoors during freezing weather. Consider this: would just a light jacket keep you warm? If not, then your pet's fur coat isn't enough protection either.

2) If your pet must be outdoors for an extended amount of time, provide a warm, dry, and draft-free shelter. Add blankets, straw, or a pet bed to keep him off a cold floor. And watch the water bowl to be sure it doesn't freeze.

3) Keep your 4-legged family members dry. Fur loses much of its insulation when wet. If it starts to rain or snow during your walk, head home. Be sure to towel them off as soon as possible to avoid hypothermia.

4) Indoor pets tend to conserve their energy and sleep more during the winter. They may also exercise less when outside, so monitor food intake to avoid weight gain.

5) Frostbite is a serious problem for your furry babies. Keep them warm on walks with booties, coats, and even a hat. Early warning signs of frostbite are pain in his ears, paws, or tail when touched and fur or skin that stays cold even after being indoors. If you believe your pet has frostbite, have him examined by a vet as soon as possible.

6) Be aware of salt on sidewalks and roadways - it's very hard on your pet's paws. Have them wear booties, or at the very least, wash off all four paws with warm water and briskly rub them down with a towel after every walk. It'll keep your house cleaner too!

7) Antifreeze, which can leak from your radiator, may taste delicious to your cat or dog, but it's deadly. Clean up spills in your garage and on the driveway. If you suspect your pet may have ingested antifreeze, get to the vet immediately.

About Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals
Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals ( is located in Greenfield, Wisconsin. Their walk-in emergencies, critical animal care and 24 hour emergency vet animal hospital surgical veterinary referrals are accepted 24 hours a day. MECA's owner is Marla Lichtenberger, DVM, DACVECC. Dr. Lichtenberger's Emergency Center is a welcome addition to the southern part of Milwaukee, which was in need of a state-of-the-art 24-hour animal ER hospital facility. A team of experienced veterinarians and staff provides emergency vet hospital services concentrating on dogs, cats, exotics, reptiles and other small mammals.

About Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals
Located in Greenfield, Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Emergency Center for Animals (MECA), a state of the art facility, is Wisconsin's premier 24-hour vet animal hospital for critical pet emergencies and is the leading provider of veterinary surgery services.  Dr. Marla Lichtenberger, DVM, DACVECC, the owner of MECA, is a highly respected and knowledgeable veterinarian critical care specialist, dedicated to critical emergency and surgical care of dogs and cats, as well as exotic animals. MECA's patients consist of walk-in emergencies, critical animal care or emergency vet animal hospital surgical referrals.

If you would like more information or if you would like to set up an interview with Dr. Lichtenberger, please contact Debra Lopez at 262-989-0604 or