Wintertime....cold, wet, rainy, snowy, windy indeed not my favorite time of the year and for many pets, not theirs either I am sure. However, there are pets made for winter, and we will chat about activities you can enjoy with them later, but first tips to help keep your pet warm for the winter.
First, know your dog. Do you have a short-coated, thin, elderly, or very young dog? They get cold more quickly, and some dogs are more susceptible to cold than others. To make it more bearable for them limit outdoor time and consider a sweater, jacket, and even boots.
Keep pets leashed. Did you know more pets become lost in the winter than any other season? Snowfall can disguise recognizable scents making it harder or impossible to find their way home? Make sure your pets collar and/or tags have up-to-date contact information. Microchipped your pet, but remember to keep that information updated as well
Wipe pets paws. We track in lots of things on the bottom of our shoes, but we do not lick them. During winter walks, your dog’s paws can pick up all kinds of toxic chemicals – salt, antifreeze, or de-icers. Always remember to check for signs of injury, cracked or bleeding paws.
If you have cats or neighborhood cats be sure to check your vehicle carefully. Before starting your engine honk the horn to give Cats love to sleep in the wheel wells or under the hood to keep warm. Give it a chance to wake up and escape before starting the car by honking the horn.
Avoid the ice. Be sure to avoid frozen sidewalks, lakes, and ponds when you're out on a stroll. You and your dog could be seriously injured.
Leave pets home. Unless necessary your pet will be more comfortable at home in their nice warm bed. Never leave your pet unattended.
Be seen. Always wear some kind of reflective gear (clothing, collars, leashes) when you and your pet are out. It gets darker much faster in winter, and you want to be safely seen by others.
Shelter. Ideally, all pets should live inside. If your pets live outdoors primarily, make sure they have plenty of shelter to keep them dry and in a draft-free area. Provide them with plenty of cedar shavings or straw. Make sure the area is of comfortable size but small enough to conserve body heat. Cover the doorway with a heavy plastic or waterproof burlap and make sure the doorway faces away from the wind. If at all possible bring them indoors during sub-zero temperatures.
Antifreeze store it safely and clean up spills. Pets are attracted to the sweet taste of, but it is extremely poisonous. Winter brings extreme weather so be prepared. Make sure in case of power outages or you get snowed in you have enough food, water, medications to last for several days.
The best rule of thumb if it is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your dog!