Puppy, It’s Cold Outside! PetSmart® Offers Winter Pet Safety Tips

As winter weather blows in, PetSmart (NASDAQ: PETM) reminds pet parents to keep their pets’ health and safety top of mind. While some thick-coated breeds may handle the chilly temperatures better, special consideration should be made for all dogs before heading outside.

“Pets aren’t always able to tell us when they are uncomfortable so it’s important to watch for signs and plan ahead for low temperatures and icy conditions,” said Dr. Simon Starkey, a PetSmart veterinarian. “With a little preparation, winter can be a safe and fun time for pets.”

PetSmart provided these cold weather tips for pet parents:
  • Protect your dog’s coat with a coat or sweater: Make sure the apparel you choose is dry and doesn’t restrict your dog’s movement. Consider a Top Paw® 3M Thinsulate jacket or a sweater to protect your dog from the elements, especially for breeds that are miniature, shorthaired, hairless or aren’t accustom to colder temperatures.
  • Keep your dog’s paws clean and protected: Check your dog’s paws during and after a walk for injuries such as cuts from ice and salt, cracked pads or ice that accumulates between his toes. Keeping the fur between the paws trimmed can help prevent ice from building up. A bootie made for dog paws, and fitted properly, also can protect the paws from icy sidewalks and extreme cold.
  • Wipe winter debris off your dog’s fur and paws: When you walk your dog outside, his feet and fur may collect remnants of de-icers and antifreeze which can be poisonous if licked off. Be sure to wipe off your dog, especially his paws before going back inside. Consider using pet-safe de-icing products around your home to reduce your dog’s risk of ingesting harmful chemicals.
  • Dogs get creaky joints, too: As dogs age they can get arthritis in their joints, just like humans, and cold, damp winter weather can increase arthritis pain. To help alleviate some of the pain, consider adding a nutritional supplement containing glucosamine to his diet.

Always check with your vet if you have concerns about your dog’s health. As the largest specialty pet retailer in North America, PetSmart has apparel, accessories and supplements to help your dog stay warm, active and healthy so he can safely enjoy winter. For more information on cold weather products, visit www.petsmart.com.

About PetSmart

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets and is a leading online provider of pet supplies and pet care information ( http://www.petsmart.com). The company employs approximately 54,000 associates and operates more than 1,314 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and over 196 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp SM day care services and pet adoption services. Through its in-store pet adoption partnership with PetSmart Charities®, PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 5 million pets since 1994. PetSmart Charities, Inc. and PetSmart Charities of Canada, Inc. (“PetSmart Charities”) are independent, nonprofit organizations that save the lives of homeless pets and reduce shelter intake through spay/neuter efforts. In 2012, nearly 450,000 dogs and cats found homes through PetSmart Charities’ adoption centers in all PetSmart stores and by sponsoring community adoption events. PetSmart Charities is the leader in granting money to help pets in need, with more than $28 million given in 2012 throughout North America.

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