As a winter storm is approaching, there is no better time than now to stop and review some helpful tools to keep your pets safe and warm during cold weather. Here are four helpful tips to help you care for your pets during the next few months:
1. If your dog or cat normally spends the majority of its time outside, start preparing your home (or a space in your home) for him or her to stay in this winter. It is a common misconception that long-haired pets are able to withstand colder temps, but that’s not actually the case. Animals, just like humans, can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia and are best kept inside during colder months. Be sure to have a warm place for your pet to sleep off the ground and away from drafty doors and windows. A dog bed and a pile of blankets is perfect!
2. Water is always a necessity for your pet, but unfrozen water is a key to keeping your pet hydrated this winter. Be sure to provide a water source that won’t potentially freeze and is accessible all day and evening.
3. When taking your pets for walks during the winter months, be sure to wipe or wash their paws, legs, and stomachs when returning indoors. Salts and other chemicals can attach themselves to your pet causing upset stomach if ingested from your dog licking its paws. Coarse salts can also damage your pet’s paw pads, so be careful to keep walking on salted sidewalks to a minimum.
4. Exercise is still an essential part of your pet’s life even during the winter, but be cautious of extended play time or walks outdoors. Dogs especially with short hair are unable to cope with colder weather, and shouldn’t be taken outside for walks as they normally would during the rest of the year.
For more information, check out our Part Two post!