The winter season can be as rough for pets as it is for humans. As a pet parent, you are responsible for keeping your dog or cat healthy, warm, and overall, safe. And this article helps you stick to that responsibility.
Find below a list of eight tips for all pet parents during the winter weather.
1. Keep them Inside
Do not overestimate your dog’s tolerance when it comes to the cold weather. Some dogs may be more susceptible to chilly weather than others. Keep in mind that thin or short-coated dogs as well as elderly or extremely young puppies are prone to feeling a little chilly. Ideally, during winter, all pets should be kept inside. Give them the shelter they need. Alternatively, consider getting them a sweater or coat to keep warm.
2. Keep them Leashed
Wandering cats or dogs can get lost in the winter. Snowfall disguises recognizable scents and, as a result, they may easily lose their way back home without the help of one of their senses. Prevent your pets from becoming lost. Keep them inside as much as possible, and always keep them on a leash when they go on walks. In addition, make sure they are microchipped with up-to-date contact information attached to their collars.
3. Keep them Visible
With daylight savings, you are more likely to walk your dog in the dark often. Make sure both you and your furry pal remain seen at all times by wearing reflective gear. Moreover, keep your dog close to you when you walk on the street.
4. Keep them Warm
While they are inside, help them reserve body heat without having to wear warm winter clothes. Replace their bedding with a more comfortable, insulating bed. If they play outside often, keep them well-fed as they need enough food to restore the energy they used up to keep warm.
5. Look Under the Hood
This is important if you own an outdoor cat or if you live in a neighborhood with lots of strays. Cats have a tendency of sleeping under cars to keep warm. Always check in the wheel wells before you start your car! Moving engine parts can severely hurt a cat if they are sleeping on your tire. If you have an outdoor cat, keep them inside during the winter, or dress them up in warm clothing.
6. Limit Bathing
Avoid bathing them as often as normally would during cold winters. Bathing removes essential oils that may lead to dry and flaky skin. In addition, they feel colder more frequently after coming out of a bath which may risk them getting a cold. If you must bathe furry baby, consult a vet for recommendations for a moisturizing shampoo and rinse.
7. Wipe their Paws
Keep your dog’s paws clean during winter walks by either wiping them off frequently or using paw protectants on paw pads. Keep your dog protected against salt, antifreeze, de-icers, and other toxic chemicals that their paws may step on during their walk. Remember to check their paws for any injuries when you are wiping them off.
Our body heat doesn’t differ much from our pets’. Therefore, as a rule of thumb, if it’s too cold outside for you, then it is just as cold for your pet. Keep your furry friends inside, dress them up in warm clothing when outside, help them stay warm and cozy, and enjoy the cold winter together at home.
Still looking for tips or do you have questions about your pet in winter? Schedule an instant video consultation with our qualified veterinarians and get tailored advice from the comfort of your home – today.