Cold Weather Tips for Pet Owners
It's that time of year where frigid temperatures nip our noses. What can you do to ensure your pets are safe and comfortable? Here are some tips!
- Keep cats inside.
Cats are small creatures that don't produce much body heat. They are especially susceptible to extreme temperatures. Leaving them outside can be fatal, so bring them in!
- Check for nappers!
When temperatures drop, outdoor cats will seek refuge in warm car hoods and tire wells. If you know or suspect there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on your car hood before starting your engine. This could save a cat's life!
- Keep dogs leashed.
Dogs frolicking in snow is adorable! The best way to let them enjoy the snow is either a very long lead or in a fenced in yard. Snowstorms make it especially hard to find lost dogs. Always make sure your pet has ID tags!
- Wipe their paws!
When dogs come inside, thoroughly wipe down their legs and paws. This will prevent injury from ice. It will also prevent the ingestion of chemicals, such as salt or antifreeze. You can also use pet safe salts to spread on walkways.
- Keep them covered.
While it may be tempting to shave your Newfoundland to look like a lion, we don't recommend shaving anyone in the cold months! Shaving a dog close to their skin takes away their main defense against frigid temperatures. If you bath them, make sure they are completely dry before taking them outside. If you have a small dog or a short-haired dog, consider investing in a pet coat to keep them toasty.
- Cars are refrigerators.
We all know not to leave our dog in the car during summer months, but did you know leaving them in the car in cold weather can be just as dangerous? Cars can act as refrigerators and can be fatal if pets are left in them for extended periods of time.
- Puppies hate cold.
Puppies don't tolerate cold weather as well as adult dogs do. This may mean your new puppy is harder to housebreak. If you're having trouble, try investing in potty pads and working up to pottying outside when the weather gets warmer.
- Feed them well.
If your dog can't get enough of this weather, increase their protein and omega-3 and -6 fatty acids. This will keep their coat in tip top shape!
- Old dogs ache.
Older or injured dogs will have a harder time with colder weather. Low temperatures can cause joint pain in older dogs, or cause dogs with old injuries to feel discomfort. Keep them warm and cozy while indoors.
- Warm in bed.
Move pet beds off of cold tile and away from any drafts. This will keep them warm and happy!