Winter is here! As the temperature drops, it’s more important than ever to make sure our furry friends are safe and warm. If exposed to cold temperatures, too much dry air, or wet weather like snow and sleet, our pets can quickly suffer. A good rule of thumb is if it’s too cold for you, it’s probably too cold for them too. Protect them from the cold and keep them safe and warm with these tips from ASPCA®.
1- Keep cats indoors. Cats can quickly loose body heat, get hypothermia, or become lost or stolen.
2- During cold temperatures, cats sometimes sleep under car hoods to keep warm. Bang loudly on the car hood before starting your engine.
3- Bathe your pet as little as possible during cold weather. Bathing removes oil from the skin and can cause skin irritation. If you must bathe them, use a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
4- Make sure your pet has a sweater or coat when they go outside. This will retain body heat and prevent the skin from getting dry or inflamed.
5- Pets burn extra energy during the winter trying to keep warm. Feed them a little bit of extra food and make sure they always have fresh water available.
6- Ice melting agents and antifreeze are dangerous for dogs if licked off paws and fur. Be sure to wipe your dog’s leash, paws and stomach when they first come inside. Be sure to clean up any spills from your vehicle.
7- Never shave your dog in the winter. Their longer coat helps to provide warmth.
8- Give them a warm bed. They should have a warm place to sleep, off the floor, and away from drafts. A fluffy dog or cat bed with a blanket or pillow is best.
9- If your dog goes out in the snow and ice, be sure to dry him off thoroughly when he comes back in. Pay special attention to his toes and paws, making sure the skin is not becoming cracked.
10- If you have pets that cannot come indoors during the winter, you need to create a windproof, waterproof enclosure for them with plenty of dry, warm, clean bedding, along with a constant supply of fresh water (make sure it doesn’t freeze) and food. Check on these pets often.