Just like we feel a chill on a winter morning, our pets do too. While we can easily pop on a jumper, snuggle up to a fire or pull on our boots, our pets need a helping hand especially if they are outside dogs or cats. So how do we keep our furry family members safe and warm in the chilly weather? Whether winter in your neighborhood means snow or subzero windchill or slightly mild temperatures and rain, when the winter months arrive, there are a number of steps you should take to keep your cats and dogs healthy and warm.
Tips to keep your cats and dogs warm during winters
Even with a lovely big coat of fur, your pets feel the cold too. So make sure that your four-footed family members stay safe and warm by using these simple tips.
The protective layer of fur naturally helps animals to stay warm. However, fur can be not so helpful in protecting animals from cold weather. They usually have less hair on their bodies and are vulnerable to the harm caused by the cold weather. You can productively take care of your pet’s health in the chilly weather by wrapping them in warm clothes.
Also, pets look super cool in winter clothes. If you search on the internet these days you will come across a variety of clothing items including waterproof coats for animals.
Provide a warm, cozy place to sleep
A soft bed and a thick blanket can provide a great deal of warmth to your pets during winter. If your dog sleeps in a particularly drafty or chilly part of the house, then get a self-warming pet mat, which retains your pet’s body heat, or a mat with a removable microwaveable heating pad. Keep in mind that your pet should be able to easily get out of bed on their own. Consult your vet if you have questions about appropriately heated pet beds.
Increase the physical activities
Physical activities are extremely necessary for your pet’s health. To keep their bodies warm and to protect them from catching a cold, try to keep them engaged the entire day. cats and dogs are very playful pets. You can even buy some toys of your pet’s interest, which will help them to stay physically active the whole day.
If the weather conditions are suitable enough to head out, you can take your pet out for a walk, or let it play outside for a while. Use things like a ball or a stick to play the fetch game with your pet. These are some of the best ways to keep your pets warm in winter while helping them make an active lifestyle.
Withdraw common poisons
Antifreeze has a very sweet taste that may attract animals and children but it is a deadly poison. So wipe up any antifreeze spills immediately and keep them, like all household chemicals, out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.
Dogs are at particular risk of salt poisoning in winter due to the rock salt used in many areas, often after licking it from their paws after a walk. Store de-icing salt in a safe place and wipe your dog’s paw, even after a brief walk. Call on a veterinarian immediately, if your pet ingests rock salt.
Massage petroleum jelly in your pet’s paw pads before going outside to help protect it from salt and chemical agents. Booties can be more effective in covering and protecting paws when out on walks.
Feed your pet a little extra
Pets work a little harder to stay warm in the winter and therefore burn extra energy than in other seasons. Feeding them a bit extra can provide much-needed calories. Also, make sure that they are drinking plenty of water, it will help keep them and their skin hydrated.
Keep an eye on their feeding habits
Food is one of the biggest sources to keep the body warm during the winter months not only for us but also for the pets in the house. Besides keeping them warm, you also need to ensure that they are properly nourished. They cannot speak but they can tell us in their own ways that they are hungry. So keep a close eye on such signs. It is better to set a meal routine and make them follow it.
Never shave your pet during winter
Longer coats provide more warmth, just like wearing a winter coat. If your pet is long-haired just trim them to minimize clinging ice balls, salt crystals, and de-icing chemicals that can dry out their skin. Don’t neglect the hair between their toes. If your furry friend is short-haired, consider getting them a coat or sweater with a high collar. It will not only provide warmth to your pet but also make it look stylish.