How to Keep Your Fury Friends Warm and Safe during the Cold Winter Weather
Just like people pets cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fats, activity level and also the pets health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly.
Cats and dogs should be kept inside during cold weather, unless you’re taking your dog out to use the bathroom. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paws can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage. No pet should be left outside for long periods of time in below freezing weather.
A warm vehicle engine can be appealing for outdoor cats because of the heat it gives off but it can also be deadly. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood or check underneath your vehicle to scare them away before starting your engine.
Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold weather injury or damage. The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate or burn the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth. When you take your dog for a walk make sure ice does not accumulate between their toes. You may be able to reduce the chance of ice ball accumulation by clipping the hair between their toes. Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when he comes in out of the snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other potentially dangerous chemicals.
Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafts. A cozy dog or cat bed with a warm blanket or pillow is perfect.
Many pets become lost in winter because snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that might normally help your pet find his or her way back home. Make sure your pet has a well fitted collar with an up-to-date identification and contact information.
Pets that spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water and food supply and keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter.
Following these tips can help your furry friend keep warm and safe throughout the winter, which in turn will give you peace of mind. Remember that our pets are part of our families and that they deserve the same consideration and respect as we do when it comes to keeping them safe and warm during the winter months.