When it comes to winter pet care, there’s more than just the cold to be concerned with. In hopes of helping you be sure your pet is safe, I’ve come up with a list of things you need to take into consideration:
First – How Cold Is It?
Every year when the temperatures dip below freezing, you’ll usually hear local weather forecasters encourage pet owners to plan for winder pet care and ensure their pets are safe. This is particularly important if your pet spends an extended time outdoors. Since your pet depends on you to keep them comfortable and safe, you’ll want to remember how vulnerable they can be to cold and wet.
Take your pet to visit the veterinarian before the weather changes too drastically. The vet will be able to tell you if you need to be concerned with special winter pet care for colder temperatures. Take this opportunity to ensure they aren’t infested with fleas which could weaken them.
If it’s very cold, don’t leave your animals outdoors. Your pets are safer if they remain indoors except for walking or relieving themselves. If your pet has short hair, you may want to purchase a sweater for them to use while being walked.
Pay particular attention to the wind chill, or feels-like temperature. Wind chill can be detrimental, even life threatening. Provide a draft-free dog house for dogs that need to stay outdoors. The house should be large enough for the dog to move around and small enough to retain body heat. Place it in the yard in such a way that it will face away from the prevailing wind; you’ll also want to have a layer of cedar shavings and a piece of burlap, heavy plastic, or carpeting to cover the doorway.
Second – Beware of antifreeze and chemical spills
Wipe up any antifreeze and chemicals used to melt ice and snow. Antifreeze is a poison which can kill your pet; they are attracted to it because it tastes sweet. It is possible to find antifreeze made of propylene glycol which is much safer.
Salt or de-icing chemicals can irritate your pet’s feet. They will also lick their feet if they are irritated which could irritate their mouth.
Third – Winter Pet Care Diet
Be prepared to feed more food to any dog or cat which remains outdoors during the winter. Why would they need to eat more when it’s cold? It takes a lot of energy to keep warm. You’ll also want to be sure they have plenty of unfrozen, fresh water throughout the day. Feed and water them in plastic bowls as their tongue can stick to metal dishes.
Fourth – A warm engine warning
Before you start your vehicle in the morning, check under the hood to be sure small animals haven’t been attracted by the heat of the engine from the night before. You can also bang on the hood or honk the horn to get them out.
Some people have larger pets such as horses, ponies, or donkeys. Have extra blankets or rugs on hand to keep these pets warmer. You’ll also want to ensure their enclosures are draft-free.
Winter Pet Care – Show Your Love
Pets add so much to our lives. Unconditional love, affection, companionship, and protection are some of the benefits of having cats, dogs, or other animals. It’s our responsibility as their owners and caretakers to think about taking care of pets in wintertime. You know how to keep your pets healthy so you can enjoy their company for some time to come.