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Eight Winter Tips For Pets
Since winter’s arrival, you’ve probably felt the chills and the cold breezes blowing through the tiniest cracks in your house. If you’re lucky enough to live in a sunny state, then you won’t need these tips right away. But it’s always good to have a few pet winter safety tips in your back pocket in case a cold front strikes unexpectedly.
Some of us see winter as a nuisance, while others revel in its beauty and the fun activities like skiing and snowboarding that come with it. Whatever your thoughts are on winter, these tips are not just for you, but the safety of your pet.
How to keep your pets safe in cold weather?
1. Fight the cold indoors
If your pet usually sleeps outside during summer months, remember winter is colder and wetter. If possible make them a comfy bed in a warm corner, especially if you live in a really cold area. No one wants to brave through freezing weather without a bit of extra warmth.
2. Dress to Impress
If your pet must be outdoors, at least think about this: Would you alone survive with only a coat to keep you warm? Not really, neither would your pet. Consider pet winter coats or sweaters that are waterproof. You can even get them booties to regulate their body temperature. They might take a while to get used to, but in the end it will be for the safety of your pet.
3. Keep a healthy appetite
No more frozen dinners. Try to feed them room temperature meals. It takes more energy to stay warm in the cold, so try to also feed outside animals more calories (as much as a 30% increase) during winter to keep the body warm. Indoor pets sleep more and exercise less, so adjust their meals accordingly.
4. Give shelter for the cold
Shelter your dog from wet and cold weather. When your dog is cold or wet, body temperature can drop and the possibility of internal organs shutting down is there. If you don’t want him/her in your house when you’re away, provide an insulated doghouse as a temporary shelter. What are the main winter tips for pets you could follow when considering a shelter?
- Make it accessible.
- Fresh straw under the bed help keep dogs warm, but always replace when wet.
- Ensure the dog bed is always clean.
- Dress your dog in a jacket, sweater or booties.
- Buy insulated dog beds or electric pet bed warmers at a pet store.
- Use foil or a space blanket under your dog’s bed for emergencies.
- Replace bedding when it is damaged or dirty.
5. Fresh drinking water 24 hours a day
Fresh water is one of the most important pet winter safety tips to follow. When the temperature goes below freezing, your pets’ water bowls can ice over. Pets can get dehydrated easily, so always make sure that they have access to water. You have three options:
- Frequently change the water during the day.
- Use a water bowl de-icer.
- Buy heated water bowls.
Remember: Always choose devices with heavy-duty, chew-resistant cords.
6. Good Grooming and Inspection
– Check and clean their paws regularly. (Ice can get stuck between paws and cause painful sores.)
– Bring your old dog indoors when he/she is shivering. They can have arthritis and the cold can make it worse.
– Brush them regularly.
– Bathe them in lukewarm water, dry their coats well and ensure there is no dampness.
– Trim their nails.
– Monthly flea treatments.
-Brush long haired cats. Try to avoid tangled fur.
-Monthly flea treatments
7. Continue to exercise
Take shorter walks during winter. If they are allowed, let them run though the house a bit. If you do take a walk outside, try to keep them on a leash. Indoor Games like ‘fetch’ or ‘tug-of-war’ are other options when it’s raining. The main point is to keep your pets healthy in cold weather.
8. Love and Care
Lastly, a good belly rub or cuddle session never hurts. They love you unconditionally, so return the favour with enough love and care.
There are many other winter tips for pets you can follow, but the above mentioned is enough to keep your four-legged friends happy, safe and warm this winter.