December 2012 Pet Health News

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4 dogs peeking over the edge.
CritterCures Pet Health News
CritterCures Special Report:
Protecting Your Pets during The Cold Winter Months
Puppy in Winter Sweater

While we may enjoy bundling up for the fun winter activities that come along with the season, this time of year can be tough on our pets. Cold weather can be especially hard for pets that are sensitive to the cold and can even pose some health risks. Young and old pets, those with shorter hair, pets with medical conditions and very small pets can be more greatly affected by the cold winter months.

Some pets, such as those with long, thick hair, may do just fine when the temperatures drop. However, pets with thin, short hair will most likely be more affected by the cold and more likely to suffer from cold exposure or frostbite. Watch for signs like shivering, shaking, whining or skin changing to a shade of blue. If you notice your pet displaying any of these signs, it’s time to get them back indoors and warmed up.

Pets with medical conditions, or pets that are very young or very old, might also be negatively affected by the cold, even if only outside for a short amount of time. Conditions like heart disease, hormonal imbalances and diabetes can affect a pet’s ability to regulate body heat, causing him or her to get cold much faster. If possible, don’t leave pets outside for an extended period of time when the temperatures really start to drop. Indoors, provide a warm place and thick bedding for your pet to sleep.

There are many other dangers for pets during the winter months than just the cold weather. Antifreeze can pose a major health risk to pets if ingested. Most people store antifreeze in a garage, where pets may have access to the containers. Even a small amount of antifreeze can be lethal to pets, so it’s very important to keep antifreeze in a spot where no pets can get to it. Also, keep pets away from the car when you are adding antifreeze to avoid a pet licking or stepping in any spillage.

Another danger is chemicals and salts that are used to melt ice. The ice and snow itself can cause paw sensitivity, but the chemicals and salts can cause irritation and illness. If you walk your pet through a spot where you think that chemicals or salts may have been used, wipe your pet’s paws thoroughly when you return home to prevent your pet from ingesting harmful chemicals.

Also be aware of any cats in your neighborhood that may want to seek shelter in or near your car. During the cold winter months, cats tend to find warm car engines to curl up next to for warmth. Some cats will even get inside a car to be closer to the warm engine. If you know that your area has a lot of cats that may be outside during the winter months, tap loudly on the hood of your car or beep the horn before starting the car to give any cats time to get out of the car before you start the engine.

Naming Your Pet: The Most Popular and Wackiest Pet Names of 2012
biobubble pet habitat

One of the most fun parts of picking out a pet is choosing what to name him or her. Pet owners can spend hours and even days trying to pick out a name they love, and a name that is suitable for their new pet. Looking back, 2012 was a year of fun pet names ranging from the most traditional to the wackiest names you’ve ever heard.

We’ve found that over the years, many pet names like Max, Rocky and Lucy are standards that will be repeated and reused year after year. These are the names you always hear when you head to the dog park or visit the pet store. However, in recent years, a whole new list of quirky and unusual names has appeared. With all of the standards names becoming slightly overused, pet owners have unleashed their imaginations to come up with wild and wacky new names for their four legged companions.

The most popular pet names of 2012 included pop culture references like Bella, Edward and Bentley. Other top names that have been on the popular pet name list for years include Max, Charlie, Jack, Toby, Chloe, Maggie and Sophie. New additions to the popular pet name list for males include Bear, Zeus, Milo, Blue, Gunner and Jax. On the female side, new contenders for most popular pet name include Coco, Lola, Rosie, Luna and Nala.

Pet owners who were thinking a little bit outside of the box went a completely different direction when naming their furry friends. The wackiest pet names of 2012 include names like Stinker Belle, Senorita Margarita, Trigonometry, Spark Pug, Agent 99, Chew Barka, Beefra, Dingleberry, Pico de Gato and Kitty Gaga. If these names aren’t out there enough for you, how about Koobenfarben, Schnickelfritz, Nigel Nosewhistle, Vienna Sausage and Furnace Hills Dante. These names really push the boundaries when it comes to interesting and innovative pet names.

Did you come up with a creative, unique name for you new pet this year? We’d love to hear it! Send your original pet names to and we’ll post them to our Facebook page!

Need Cheering Up After That? Cute Pet Costumes!
Blushing dog bride.

We admit it. That "special report" was pretty weighty stuff.

It's important to remember why we protect our pets.

Because we love them.

And we love dressing them up for Halloween.

They probably don't 'get' it.

Clothing has never been much of a draw for dogs and cats.

But they do love to be the center of attention. And a cute costume brings all eyes to them.


Want to see more?

Head over to this pet costume slideshow by to get a little pick-me-up.

4 dogs peeking over the edge.
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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.