Pet owners must understand the significance of keeping their pets safe and healthy during cold weather. Freezing temperatures may affect the overall well-being of your furry friends. If you are bringing your pets outside during the extreme cold, you must follow some crucial winter safety tips to protect your pets from extreme temperatures.
This article takes you through some proven ways to protect your pets from winter weather. Let’s figure out what extra care you need to take to ensure the safety and health of your pets during cold weather:
Wipe Off Your Pet As It Gets In
As you get your pets indoors after a walk or playtime, always wipe off their stomach and paws carefully and thoroughly. The pet’s feet may have antifreeze, rock salt, or other chemicals as they walk outdoors on snow, ice, or sleet. Your pets may ingest these chemicals while licking their paws unknowingly.
Ingested antifreeze or rock salt can cause stomach issues to your pet – as these chemicals are poisonous.
Wiping off these ice-melting substances from your dog’s feet after winter walks will help you keep your pet safe. If you notice ingestion of these chemicals by your pets, contact a veterinarian immediately.2. Keep Pets Inside During Cold Weather
In winter, you usually prioritize keeping the entire family safe from the cold. Keeping your pets safe is equally crucial. Especially cats love roaming around outdoors. However, they may get lost during a storm or chilly rain. Therefore, keep your pets inside to avoid any mishaps.
Extreme low-temperature discomforts pets. It may not be safe for your pets to walk on snow and ice with bare paws unless they belong to a breed that is comfortable with snow and cold. Prefer playing indoor games with them and ensuring they spend minimal time outdoors. Avoid taking your pets, especially cats, outdoors amid freezing temperatures.
Check Your Pet’s Paws
Many dogs may get cold-weather injuries or damage, like chapped paws. Check the paws of even outdoor dogs frequently during winter. It is advisable to provide paw pads and dog boots to protect their feet from thin ice and other possible hazards outdoors.
If you notice a sudden lameness in your pet during a walk, that can be due to ice accumulation between its toes. You can trim the hair between the toes to reduce the chances of ice accumulation.
Avoid Shaving Your Pets During the Winter Weather
A thick coat keeps your dog warm. The coat maintains the body heat and keeps its body temperature intact to sustain low freezing temperatures. Therefore, to keep your pet safe, avoid shaving its coat entirely during winter.
What if you have a short-haired breed? A warm blanket, a sweater, or a coat covering your pet from the base of its tail to its belly will protect it from the cold air during winter.
Provide Extra Water and Food
Pets need more calories to stay warm during winter. Provide some extra food and ample water during the winter months. Keeping their weight in a ‘healthy’ range is better to get sufficient body heat to cope with the cold weather.
Many pets may experience excessive thirst during winter. It is vital to avoid dehydration. Consult a pet nutritionist to get a customized diet plan for your pet this winter.
Provide Outdoor Shelter to Ensure Pet’s Health
It is not recommended to keep your pets outdoors during winter. If you cannot accommodate them inside, ensure you provide shelter in a warm place for them with sufficient protection from wind. When kept outdoors, offer them fresh, unfrozen water.
Keep the bottom of the shelter off the ground to avoid heat loss to the ground. Secondly, provide comfortable, thick, and dry bedding. Try to keep the environment warm and dry for your pet. The shelter should be large enough to let your pet sit and lay down – and small enough to keep it warmer.
How to Bathe and Groom Your Dog During Winter?
One of the most daunting skin issues among dogs during winter is dandruff. Dead skin cells pile up and remain on the skin of your dog. Harsh shampoos and soaps may worsen the issue. Therefore, bathe your dogs by using vet-recommended moisturizing shampoo to minimize dandruff.
Consult your veterinarian while choosing an appropriate shampoo for your dog. For more insights on dog bathing and grooming during winter and skincare tips, please refer to this blog.
Check Your Engine Before You Drive
Pets and even other animals prefer sleeping inside the engine compartment or wheelbase of a car to get the warmth during winter. The car engine remains warm for a long time after you park your car. Therefore, if you plan to drive your car to reach somewhere, bang the bonnet or make some noise to let the pet or animal come out.
Supervise Your Pets When Near Water Bodies
Prefer keeping your pets on a short leash while roaming around ice melt or other water bodies during winter. Snow causes a loss of smell, and pets may find it challenging to recognize their usual path back home.
It would be wise to keep them under supervision or on a short leash to prevent them from getting lost during a storm.
Keep Your Pet’s Bedding Warm
Provide your pet with warm bedding and a warm blanket and pillow to ensure its comfortable sleep during cold weather. The bedding must be changed and cleaned regularly to maintain hygiene and prevent health issues.
Prefer keeping the bedding elevated from the ground to keep it warm. If outdoors, provide a waterproof flap made of fabric or heavy plastic.
We have created an infographic to summarize winter pet safety tips. The graphical illustration and brief narration will help you remember these safety tips and implement them to keep your pet safe. Take a look at the infographic:
The article and infographic cover winter safety tips for pets to help you safeguard your pets from extreme temperatures during winter. Follow these tips to ensure health and happiness for your pet during the changing weather conditions.
Take your pet to a veterinarian nearby for preventive checkups, microchipping, and vaccination before winter. You can find a veterinarian near you through GreatVet and schedule an appointment for your pet.