During the cold winters, we love huddling up in blankets and sipping our favorite hot beverage by the fireplace or binge-watching the newest Netflix series. But, our pets may also be cold and they are not able to express it in a way that we can understand. Sharp drops in temperature can cause them to shiver the entire night and even catch an illness. To ensure your beloved pet is just as warm as you are, we’ve gathered these “5 essential tips to keep your pet safe and warm this winter.”
1) Get All Their Winter Essentials in Place
Winters will automatically call for a pet sweater and or dog jacket, and they even make boots for small and large breeds. You may not opt for the boots, but the first two is a must and ensure that your pets are safe and warm during their winter walks.
Also, cozy up. Make their place snug and full of warmth by adding in extra pillows and blankets. If you have a fireplace or an area in your home that is warmer, consider shifting their sleeping place to protect them from getting the chills.
Puppies are especially less tolerant of the cold weather because they have less fat and muscle. It’s best to buy them a large, cozy dog sweater and if you happen to be a knitter - then get on with the labor of love. By constantly wearing a doggie sweater, you are actually training them into the habit and they will be less likely to tear it off.
And please, never leave your dog outdoors in the cold or in your car without the heat running. Your vehicle literally turns into a freezer in the winter months and leaving your pet in a car without heat can be fatal.
2) Keep Them Away from Ice and Frozen Water
If you plan on hiking, don’t leave your pet off his leash. The thick and dense snow can cause dogs to lose their sense of smell and get lost. You can also put an ID or a tiny bracelet around their paw with a microchip for safety purposes.
Puppies can be extremely vulnerable on thin ice. They don’t have the capacity to detect the danger they’re standing on - so be extra cautious on their behalf.
If they drop into a freezing puddle, they can catch hypothermia and even drown. Even if the ice plane looks thick and safe enough to skate on, when it comes to your pets, you have to take extra precaution. In addition, your pet doesn’t know how to skate or balance themselves on the slippery plane and could end up injuring themselves.
3) Encourage Fur Growth
Did you know that you can encourage fur growth in your pet by taking them out in the snow? For larger dogs, exposure to chilly weather for a few hours every day can cause their hair to grow thicker as they adapt to changes. You'll want to lessen the time you spend outdoors with smaller dogs because they can't tolerate the cold as much. In the long run, spending time outdoors will eventually lead to thicker and fuller growth and keep them warmer when the time comes.
4) Increase Feedings Accordingly:
Pets naturally stay warm by burning calories based on what they eat. In order to stay warm, they will need more food. Try adding in some performance diets or increase their feeds accordingly to help them sustain the warmth.
5) Avoid De-icers:
Antifreeze is commonly used in many de-icer products and they include other toxic chemicals as well. Antifreeze can kill pets, so clean up any spills as soon as they happen. If your pet has stepped in any de-icers, antifreeze, or other toxic chemicals that are used on roads, wipe down their paws with a gentle, pet-safe cleanser. Follow that up with some olive oil to keep their paws from drying out and cracking. Sometimes, dogs and cats lick toxic chemicals from their paws, so if you are using these products on your driveways, only use pet-safe products.
At Pampered Pets USA, we know you consider your pet to be part of the family and want nothing but the best for them. We are here to provide you with accurate and updated information that will help you give your furry friend a healthy and happy life.
Author: Michelle Anastasio-Festi
Photo Courtesy: videoblocks.com