As the temperatures continue to drop we want to remind all you animal-lovers out there of the dangers that the cold can pose to your pets. Many animals love the cold weather and snow, and they want to have fun outside, too! Follow the five tips below to make sure your pet stays safe and healthy this winter and beyond.
Protect those paws! Each time you get back from an outside walk or run with your pet check their paws to make sure there isn’t any salt stuck in their pads. Rock salt and chemical ice melters can cause infection, sores, blistering, and are toxic when licked off. To prevent cracking, chapping, and more, apply Vaseline to your animal’s foot pads before going out on a nice winter walk — or make sure they’re wearing a pair of booties.
They may have nice fur coats, but that doesn’t mean that your pet can keep warm in extremely cold temperatures. If your pet is normally kept outdoors make sure you add extra blankets, straw, or other insulation to their outdoor shelter. It’s also acceptable to add a little oil or broth to your pet’s food to help them add a few warmth-generating calories. If your pet is of the short-haired variety then you’ll probably need to buy a sweater or warm coat for them.
Did you know that more dogs are lost during the winter than any other season? As much fun as your pet has frolicking in the snow, it’s important that you never let your pet off their leash on ice, snow, or during a snowstorm. It’s easy for dogs to lose their scent and become lost in these conditions.
Keeping your pet hydrated during the winter is just as important as it is during the summer. It’s impossible for animals to get enough water by licking snow or ice (not to mention snow and ice can be filled with toxins from salt or ice melting products) so it’s important that you always keep a fresh bowl out. Check it frequently to keep it from freezing or consider investing in a heated water bowl! A heated bowl will keep the water cold, not frozen.
Our best tip is to keep your pet with you at all times. While this may not be entirely possible a good rule of thumb is that if it’s too cold outside for you it’s too cold outside for your pet. Animals should be kept inside as much as possible during the winter time and never left alone in vehicles — these can act like refrigerators and turn your furry friend into a pupsicle.
Do you have a cold weather animal care tip? Tell us all about it!