Winter Pet Care
The weather outside is getting frightful!
That means it’s time to get ready to break out the warm sweaters and hot cocoa, but what about your furry family members? There are a lot of different precautions we need to take in the cold winter months to keep our four-legged best friends safe.
Even if your pet is happy to be outside all the time, they need a sheltered place to hide in when the weather gets too cold. If you have outside pets, make sure they have proper shelters that are dry, draft-free, and a little off the ground. If the temperature dips below sub-zero, be prepared to bring your animal inside, even if it’s only temporary. Switch outdoor food and water bowls to plastic since metal can freeze to a pet’s tongue.
Wipe Their Paws
Wiping their paws is not just about keeping your house clean from a snowy mess. People use all kinds of chemicals in the winter to de-ice surfaces, and when you take a walk with your dog, their feet drink those in like a frat boy on pledge week. When you get home, make sure you wipe those feet clean before your dog tries to! Also, while you are checking out their paws, examine the pads for potential injuries. Ice is unkind to exposed skin!
Be Kind, De-Ice Right
Many of the deicers on the market are toxic to pets. So, when you’re looking into purchasing those ice melting tools, make sure you buy ones that are pet safe. Be very careful with all antifreeze products, especially when your pets are around! The following article covers a lot of ice melts and their risk to pets. Feel free to check it out here.
Sometimes not even a fur coat is enough to stay warm; that windchill is truly brutal. If your pet is okay with it, consider sweaters and boots for your dog when you go for walks. The booties can help protect from chemicals and salt on the sidewalks, and a jacket can help your dogs stay warm and dry.
Check Before Take-Off
When it’s cold, small animals (especially cats) will often hide inside cars or in wheel wells to sleep. Before you start your car and drive off, make some noise. Either bang on the hood of your car or honk the horn. That will wake them up and let them get out before any harm comes to them.
Bring your pets inside as often as you can during the cold winter months. Dogs still need their walks, and cats may feel a need to explore the outside, but try to limit their exposure if you can. Be aware of how long your pet is in the vehicle unattended. A cold car can be almost as dangerous to a pet as a hot one, so consider leaving your animals at home if they don't need to go out. They may be sad, but they will be safe!
Hopefully, these winter safety tips for pets will help you feel more prepared for the icy season ahead. Stay warm and safe out there this winter season. Don’t worry! The sun and warm weather will return - eventually.