Winter is officially here, and it's essential to ensure you're prepared to keep your pet safe while the temperatures plummet. Cold winter weather brings an array of potential hazards for pets. To ensure your pet is safe, we've compiled some handy winter pet safety tips that will help you and your furry friend get through these chilly months with ease. From being aware of ice on the pavement to providing extra warmth at home, following the advice in this blog post will help guarantee a healthy and happy pet all season long!
Winter can be a difficult season for pet owners - the cold weather, shorter days, icy surfaces, and hazardous road conditions create unique challenges when it comes to keeping your pet safe. But with the right tips and precautions in place, you can ensure that your furry friend enjoys a worry-free winter! In this blog post, we'll discuss some of the most important strategies for protecting your pup during the chilly months. From providing proper nutrition to avoiding potential hazards outdoors, we have all the information you need to make sure that your four-legged family member is happy and healthy despite the cold weather!
Keep Pets Indoors
If it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets. Don’t keep your pets outdoors for long periods of time during very cold weather. Short-coated dogs may need a coat or sweater during walks.
Provide Outdoor Shelter
If you have outdoor dogs, make sure they have a doghouse that:
Is large enough for pets to sit and lie down in, but small enough to retain their body heat.
Has a floor that is elevated a few inches off the ground and is covered with cedar shavings or straw.
Has an entrance that faces away from heavy winds and is covered with a flap of heavy waterproof fabric or heavy plastic.
Care for Your Pet's Feet
Check for signs that your pet’s feet are uncomfortably cold during walks. Symptoms of discomfort could include frequently lifting up their paws, whining, or stopping. Salt and other chemicals used to melt ice and snow can harm your pet’s feet. Gently rub the bottom of your pet’s paws with a damp towel to remove these irritants after a walk, or buy dog boots to prevent paw irritation during winter weather.
Provide Extra Food and Water
Pets that spend time outdoors in the winter use a lot of energy to stay warm. Provide a little extra food and regularly check your pet’s water dish to ensure the water is fresh and not frozen. Use plastic food and water bowls instead of metal to prevent your pet’s tongue from freezing to them.
Bundle Your Dog Up
Sure, most dogs have their own coat, but you wouldn’t want to go out in a blizzard in a light spring jacket. Make sure small, delicate, and short-haired dogs, even large ones like Greyhounds, have an appropriate winter wardrobe, including a sturdy winter coat and a fitted sweater.
Consider Your Dog’s Age
Like humans, very young and very old dogs have a hard time regulating body temperature, so they have more extreme reactions to changes in weather. Romps in the snow may be too much for their more delicate constitutions. Keep the older dogs and the puppies indoors as much as possible.
Feed Your Dog Well
Feeding your pet a little bit more during the cold weather months can provide much-needed calories, and making sure she has plenty of water to drink will help keep her well-hydrated and her skin less dry
Trim Foot Fuzz
Hair on the feet of long-haired dogs can form ice balls between pads and toes. Keep them well-trimmed, cutting the hair so that it is even with the surface of the foot.
Don't Lock Pets in Cars
Never leave a pet locked inside a car during extremely cold weather. Cars can act like a refrigerator, holding in cold air and putting your pet at risk.
HSNT - Pets and People, Saving Each Other®
HSNT’s mission is to act as an advocate on behalf of all animals and to ensure their legal, moral and ethical consideration and protection; to provide for the well-being of animals who are abandoned, injured, neglected, mistreated or otherwise in need; to promote an appreciation of animals; and to instill respect for all living things.