Is your pet safe from the cold bite of winter? Too often people make the mistake of thinking their pet is prepared for the bitter cold because nature gives them a natural coat. However, cold and extreme weather conditions post problems for pets, especially if they are used to being indoors.
Yesterday, we outlined some great products that help protect your pet in the winter. Today, it’s time to look at these tips to protect your pet from Mother Nature’s worst elements.
Keep certain pets indoors or limit their time outside – Cats should stay indoors away from the dangers of cars, predators and other dangers outside the home. If you have a puppy, older dog or a dog with illnesses such as diabetes, heart disease or arthritis, the cold causes addition health risks. Keep their time outside limited.
Keep your dog on leash – More dogs are lost in winter than any other season because it’s so easy for them to lose their sense and perspective during a snowstorm. Keep them on a leash or go to a fenced-in dog area. It’s even more important to keep your pet leashed if you live near a pond or river so they aren’t tempted to go out on the ice and possibly fall through.
Beware of winter dangers – Anti-freeze, de-icing salt, rat poison and other chemicals are often in the path of your daily walk. Make sure your dog doesn’t drink or ingest anything.
Keep your pet’s paws dry – Dogs step in a lot of stuff outside, from salt to sleet and snow to mud. Dog boots will keep their paws dry and will cut down on the possibility of them licking something harmful off their paws. If you don’t use a boot, clean and dry their paws each time you come back in from the cold.
Don’t leave your pet alone in the car – Your car will act as a refrigerator, holding in cold and making it easier for your pet to freeze.
Bundle up – Most dogs also could benefit from the extra layer during the winter just like we do. There are a variety of coats, fleece and sweaters on the market that work for a variety of dogs and climates.
Food and drink – If your dog loves to spend time out in the cold, make sure you increase his or her protein levels. Also make sure there is plenty of clean, unfrozen water to keep your pet hydrated.
Grooming – Winter isn’t a good time to shave your pet down. Also make sure that your dog is thoroughly dry before leaving a grooming appointment.
Indoor hazards – Watch your pets closely around space heaters, fires and other heat sources. It’s easy for them to get too close and get their tail or paws burned on hot surfaces. Make sure to have your furnace checked for carbon monoxide.
Sleeping – Make sure your pet has a warm, dry, soft bed for sleeping in the winter.
Watch for other outdoor pets – Cats that spend time outdoors are often looking for a warm place to sleep and have been known to crawl underneath the hood of a car. Bang on the hood or honk your horn to warn any animal that could be lurking before you start your engine.
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