As the winter months are upon us, it is important to consider a few tips to keep our pets warm and healthy. Whether they have short or long hair, the lower temperature could put them at risk for frostbite or hypothermia.
1. Paw Protection: Wear shoes for dogs or other pets when going outside. The extra protection on their feet keeps them warmer, but it also protects them against salts, antifreeze, or de-icers. Many cars use antifreeze, which is also known as coolants, during the winter to keep the engine from freezing. Antifreeze spills are dangerous for pets. These chemicals are toxic, so avoid exposing your pets to these. If you live in a cold area, there are pet-safe de-icers.
Be sure to wipe off their paws before they go inside to rid of residual cold moisture and debris. The furry friends love licking their paws and you would not want them to consume the salts, antifreeze, or de-icers.
2. Shorter Walks: Frequent, but shorter walks would protect them from the elements. The pets still need to get their steps in to keep their health up during the cold months. If they have many short walks throughout the day rather than longer walks, they will get the same amount of exercise. This allows them to achieve the same fitness goal with out the lengthy exposure to the cold. Check out FitBark and their fitness tracker to help your pets stay in shape.
Pet Winter Jackets
3. Winter Jackets: Dawning a cute coat on your pets are not only Instagram worthy, but also adds an extra layer of protection for the four legged friend. Their hairs can entangle with the cold moisture and snow. Styling with the winter's latest gear allows for some cute pictures, but also insulates their body heat.
Change Pets' Water and Food Bowls
4. Change Food and Water Bowls: Feeding your pets with metal food and water bowls decreases the temperature by several degrees. Metal containers will reflect back the freezing temperature to the food and water. When the furry friends' tongue touch the bowls, it will feel extra cold. Your pet will feel winter's tinge on the tip of their tongues. Ouch!! Try ceramic and plastic bowls when faced with the cold.
Hibernate in the Warmth
5. Hibernate in the Warmth: The cold could be similarly as frightening for pets as the hot months. It's advised to not keeps pets in hot cars during the summer as they should not be kept in cold cars during the winter. Pets have different metabolic rates than humans and cannot regulate their body temperatures.
If your pets are normally outside, bring them in during the winter months. With fewer daylight hours, the temperature drops earlier and stays cold longer. Provide your pet with a dry and draft-free home during the cold months.