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Pet Tips for Winter

Pet expert Marc Morrone shares tips for making sure your pets are prepared for colder temperatures.
The Martha Stewart Show, January 2006

People know how to take care of themselves in the cold, but our pets need a little assistance. Pet expert Marc Morrone, owner of the Parrots of the World pet store, recommends giving your dog a sweater that is roomy enough that it won't impede movement. The de-icing materials used on sidewalks and streets can be harmful to a dog's paws, so you should consider using Musher's Secret, a wax salve available at pet stores that protects a dog's feet.

Cats are usually a bit more independent and can find warm spot on their own. Birds, on the other hand, stay inside, but can be affected by the changes in the air when the temperatures drop. To prevent a bird's feathers from drying out, gently mist them with warm water every day. If you own reptiles, make sure their habitat is heated to about 85 degrees to 95 degrees. Use heating pads, ceramic heat emitters, or heat lamps to keep reptiles warm. Be sure to keep extra heat elements in the house in case the one being used breaks down.

Finally, rabbits seem to do fine in cold temperatures, but their water bottles can freeze if they're kept outdoors. Have several bottles at the ready in case the one outside freezes solid.