Now that the cold weather is here for the next few months, pet owners should consider a few changes in order to keep their dog or cat warm and healthy.
If you feel the cold, your pets feel it too. Some breeds are more tolerant to the weather, such as big, healthy dogs with thick fur.
However, small breeds and puppies are more sensitive to cold. Dogs with arthritis and joint issues may suffer when the temperature is low as well. Dog clothes such as sweaters or coats can be very useful, as long as the clothes fit your pet and allow him to move freely.
Walking in Cold Weather
When the temperature is around zero, consider a shorter walk if your dog doesn’t look like he is enjoying it. Again, dog coats can be a solution to this problem.
As always, after the walk, check the dog’s paws for frostbite and wipe away the moisture (wipe all of his body if he is wet). When you give him a bath, check his skin. Bad frostbite causes redness or even lesions. If the dog’s paws are sensitive to the cold, consider getting dog boots.
Caring for Pets in Cold Weather – Simple Tips
First and foremost, if the pet lives outside, simply bring them in. If this is not possible, organize a warm shelter with a small opening that will keep the dog or cat from the cold winds and the snow. Consider doing this for any feral cats in your neighborhood as well. The recommendation is to line the shelter with straw that won’t freeze like a blanket or hay will. Make sure the pet’s water does not freeze and put a mat where it’s dry for the pet to sleep on.
Other things to consider:
- Keep the heat on for your pets when you leave the house.
- Before starting your car, make sure there are no furry guests under the vehicle trying to keep warm.
- Antifreeze and ice melters are toxic for pets. Instead, use a pet-friendly ice melter that is safe for pets and children.
- If your dog starts limping in the winter, check to see if salt is stuck on his pad.
Taking special precautions and caring for pets in cold weather can help prevent our animals from being injured or even dying due to prolonged exposure to cold.