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Cold Weather

When the cold winds start blowing, we need to consider how the cold can affect our companions. Cold weather hazards range from hypothermia to antifreeze poisoning.

West Highland White Terriers should not be out in the cold for very long periods, especially the very young, old, or sick, which have a decreased ability to retain body heat in cold weather. When your Westie is outside, watch for these signs that she is too cold, refusing to walk, lifting her paws, whimpering, or shivering.

Wind and rain also draw heat from an animal's body, so keep your Westie dry and protected from gusts, although jumpers and coats for pets may provide some protection, they don't necessarily keep pets from getting a chill.

Westie's toes and paw pads present special problems in the winter. Salt, snow, ice, and the resulting moisture can cause irritation of the skin between the toes and on the surface of the pads.

Wash your Westie's paws with warm water after a walk to wash away salt. Dry the paws thoroughly, especially between the toes, since constant moisture can cause dermatitis. Be sure to inspect feet for cracks, redness, and bleeding. Cracked foot pads need veterinary care, since dogs may chew at the itchy skin.

Keep in mind that antifreeze is toxic and attractive to pets, so always keep it out of reach.