As the weather gets colder don’t forget, pets are susceptible to frostbite and too much exposure to the elements can be deadly. Use these cold weather tips to keep your pets healthy and warm this winter.
Keep a Tight Leash: Put the retractable leash away for the winter to avoid slips and falls on walks. Keep your dog on leash in snow, as snowy and icy conditions can cause your pet to lose their sense of direction or panic. Many pets go missing in colder months. As always keep ID on your pet and if they are not already microchipped, now is a great time to have it done.
Protect those Paws: We strongly suggest boots or Musher’s Secret when walking your dog in the snow to help prevent frostbitten pads. Reusable disposable booties by Pawz are a great option, or invest in a pair of Muttlucks or Ultra Paws. Musher’s Secret balm will help prevent cracked pads and make ice and snow easier to remove. Make sure to trim the fur between your dogs pads so it doesn’t hold ice and always check for ice balls in their feet when they come in. Wipe your dog’s paws with a warm moist cloth to remove any salt or melting chemicals that may have been used on sidewalks and streets.
Grooming: Go easy on the baths in winter or use a groomer who can thoroughly dry your pet’s coat so they don’t catch a cold. Alternately, consider the use of a dry shampoo like Holcombe Organics Fur Refresh in the winter months. Avoid short coat clips in cold weather months to make sure you dog has adequate protection. If the pet has a naturally short coat or you must maintain a short clip, make sure your pet has a jacket or sweater when they go outside, especially in sub-zero temperatures.
Check Cars for Cats: Feral and outdoor cats will often seek shelter in the engine compartment of your car. Check under the hood before you start your car on cold days to make sure your vehicle isn’t housing a cold kitty.
NEVER Leave and Animal in the Car: Animals can and do freeze to death in cold cars. It’s best to leave your furry friend at home in a warm house unless they are going to be coming inside with you. Small dogs are particularly sensitive to cold and should never be left in a cold car.
Keep Outside Time Limited: While it may be tempting to put an animal with cabin fever outside to burn off some steam, keep yard time short in sub-zero temperatures. Play fetch inside with a soft toy, hide treats, and consider puzzle toys and raw bones to keep your pet entertained inside. While we recommend that all cats be indoor cats, if you have a cat that normally goes outside, keep them in during the winter. Make sure your cat has an appropriate scratcher, or replace cardboard inserts for cats who use disposable scratchers. Use interactive toys like Da Bird to keep your cat entertained. If you use a laser pointer to play with your cat, make sure they get a treat after they catch it a few times to avoid frustration.
Never Keep an Animal Outside in the Winter: Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep indoors and away from drafts. Self heating beds are a great option for older arthritic pets for whom the winter months are particularly difficult.
Keep ALL Pet away from Antifreeze: Antifreeze is deadly even in small doses to household pets. Make sure it is stored away from cats and dogs and make sure you don’t have leaks on your property.