Winter is here! There’s icy patches on the street, frost on our cars in the mornings, and we need to wear mittens and scarves. We’ve pulled out the big warm blankets, winterized our automobiles, and have scarves and mittens next to our keys. What about our pets?
Animals may be able to withstand the cold better than some of us but they can get frostbite, can get cold, and depending on the breed of dog or cat you have, need to stay inside and warm.
Remember the following tips to keep your buddy safe and warm:
- Keep all items like anti-freeze and de-icers on high shelves or in locked cabinets where your dog and cat can’t get to them or be exposed to them. Clean up any leaks and spills.
- If you use ice melters on the sidewalk use pet-friendly ones that are salt free and chloride free.
- When the temperature drops, keep your pet inside. If they do have to go out or insist on going outside, limit the time and monitor them. When you’re cold enough to go inside, they are too.
- Some dogs fair better in cold weather than others. If your dog is a short-haired dog or does not have an undercoat like a daschund or rhodesian ridgeback, make sure they aren’t out for too long and invest in a doggie coat. If your dog is a winter dog like a husky, chance are they’ll be ok but check for ice stuck to the fur when they come inside.
- If your cat is an indoor/outdoor cat, be aware they may look for somewhere warm to snuggle if it’s cold. Check your car engine or bang on your roof before starting your car. Cats can get caught in the engine and become seriously injured or worse.
- When the ground is covered in snow and ice, the scents that help animals figure out where they are get covered up and animals can get lost. Make sure your dog has all the ID needed on his/her collar and think about keeping your cats inside during the colder months.
- Do not let your dog off leash around frozen ponds or lakes. Animals can fall into the freezing water and have an extremely difficult getting out.
- Wipe your pet’s paws clean after coming in from the cold to remove any ice and dirt that can get tangled in the fur. Pets that go outside can pick up rock salt, ice, and chemical ice melts in their foot pads.
- Senior pets need some extra TLC during the cold weather days. Their joints may become super sensitive and tender. Walk behind them when they climb stairs or hills in case they slip. Keep their bedding in a place where there are no drafts.
Winter can be a lot of fun for you and your pets. With these tips, your buddy will be safer and happier too!