If you have a pet, especially a cat or dog, you need to give them a little more TLC in the freezing winter months. Here are some tips to protect your pet from the dangers of winter:
- If you have a pet that likes you be outdoors most of the time, it is time to re-think that in the winter. Keep your pet indoors when the weather is very cold. Common sense, but some people aren’t sure if their pet seems to love the freezing, bitter cold. Even if they like it, it is safer for their health to keep them indoors and warm.
- If you must keep your pet outdoors some of the time, be sure to give them a draft free, dry, warm shelter. Make sure they have fresh water that isn’t frozen. But still, keep time spent outdoors minimal.
- If your pet is indoors all of the time, chances are they aren’t getting the same amount of exercise that they did in the summer. It may be time to change how much food they eat. In the winter, pets often sleep more and exercise less, so they probably won’t need as much food or they run the risk for becoming overweight.
- Watch for signs of frostbite. Keep your pets warm and keep an eye on their paws, tips of tails and ears for signs of frostbite. If you take your dog for a walk in the cold, get them some booties or a coat. Early signs of frostbite are firm, waxy skin and blisters.
- Keep an eye on what they’re licking outside. Antifreeze often spills from your car at this time of year and even a tiny sip can be fatal for a pet. If your pet starts acting like they’re drunk or starts to convulse, take them to the vet immediately. Keep your pets away from the garage and cars.
- Also, keep an eye on the salt on the roads and sidewalks. Of course, don’t let them eat this either, but also watch for damage or irritation on their paws. The type of salt can be harsh on paws. Try using booties on walks.
- If you leave your car outside and notice cats around, tap on your car’s hood before starting your vehicle. Stray cats and other animals like to climb up under a car’s hood and warm up by the motor. Avoid hurting an animal and your car by simply tapping to make sure nothing is there before you start up your car.
Remember to practice common sense, if the weather is too cold for you to do something, it is too cold for your pet as well! Winter is the best time for cuddling, so cuddle up with your pet to keep both of you warm and safe.
What changes do you make in your routine to care for your pet in the winter? Share with us!