Be Smart At Meal Time
Putting extra pounds on your pet doesn’t make them warmer. Those added pounds are a serious threat to their health. To keep pets safe, feed your furry or feathered friend well, but don’t go overboard. Keep meals healthy and in good supply.
The Old Boy Scout Motto
“Always be prepared.” Make sure that there are blankets, batteries, meds, food, and other emergency needs in case a winter storm knocks out power or blocks accessible roadways.
Tune In To Potential Problems
Your pet may try to tell you if there is a potential or existing problem. Weakness, lethargy, anxiousness, shivering, or whining can all point to possible issues. Listen and watch.
Giving Shelter In A Storm
Not only during a storm, but shelter for pets in winter is crucial. Particularly pets who spend a lot of time outside. If you must keep an animal out of doors in winter, it is essential that you provide a warm, dry place for them to seek comfort, cover, and safety.
Ice, Ice, Baby
But not for your fur babies! Areas where water has iced over are danger zones for animals. Neither you nor they know if their weight will be tolerated by possibly thin ice.
Keep animals away from drafts. Make sure that your furnace is running properly and that there is no danger of carbon monoxide. Practice extreme caution if using space heaters.
Eliminate Poisoning Possibilities
Always keep products that are “pet-poisonous” locked away. But especially in winter, antifreeze poses a serious threat. It tastes sweet but is deadly.
Let Your Pet Stay Home
We love to take our pets everywhere, but it’s simply not always practical. Hot cars are dangerous, yes. But cold vehicles can be just as deadly. For short days or quick trips, leave your little buddy home where it’s warm. And give your pets a choice of a couple of locations in which to rest or sleep. Different spots offer various degrees of warmth – as needed.
Likewise, it should be noted that the notion of your pet being somehow impervious to cold weather is dangerous thinking. The assumption that “animals are more resilient” is not even remotely accurate. Keeping pets outdoors in winter leaves them highly susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite.
Collars, IDs, and Chips
As always, make sure that your pet has a collar with updated ID tag and is chipped. When the snow flies, lost animals can’t pick up scents that might ordinarily help them find their way home.
Wipe Off Fur and Feet
Salt, antifreeze, and deicers must be wiped from your pet’s feet, belly, and other areas after winter walks. If you use any of these, make sure they are pet-safe products.
A New Frock For Your Furry Friend
Sweaters and jackets keep both humans and animals warm in nasty weather. Have a couple of choices at the ready in case the first piece of warm clothing gets wet.
Inspect Paws Regularly
Bleeding and/or cracked pads tend to be a problem when the weather turns in winter. Watch for between-toe ice balls and stay away from road and sidewalk salt whenever possible (or clean paws thoroughly after walks).
Warm Cars Attract Animals
A warm vehicle is an attractive, seemingly safe haven to a wild or outdoor animal. They frequently hole up in engine compartments and wheel wells. Make some noise to drive them off and check for these little guys before starting your car.
All Animals Have Different Tolerances
Know your pet’s limits when it comes to frigid temperatures. Short hair, short legs, body fat, age, and certain health conditions all can play a part in a pet’s tolerance to cold weather.
And don’t be afraid to do a bit of preventative maintenance. Get your little friends checked out for health conditions that may worsen with or be affected by cold weather – i.e., arthritis. Wellness exams are recommended once a year, even without the possibility of extreme winter weather.