As the temperatures drop and the snow starts to fall, it is time to prepare for those cold days of winter. We have put together a few short tips to keep those four legged friends comfortable and safe, even on the chilliest of days.
Tips for cats…
During these cold days it is best to keep your cat indoors. Regardless of temperatures it is never a good idea to let your cat roam free. When outside, cats always run the risk of coming in contact with infectious diseases, getting lost, or even freezing.
Outdoor cats will seek refuge almost anywhere in the winter. Many will climb under the hood of a car to sleep. Always bang loudly on the hood to give them a chance to escape before you start the car.
Just as you shouldn’t leave your pet in the car on a hot summer day, you shouldn’t do it in the winter either. A car is like an oven in the summer and refrigerator in the winter, and leaving your cat in a cold can cause them to freeze to death.
Tips for dogs…
Make sure your pet has a comfortable warm bed that is away from drafts. On those especially chilly days be sure to give them a thick blanket.
Dogs have a great sense of smell, but snow and ice can impair their ability to find their scent. More dogs are lost in the winter than any other season, so it is especially important to keep a collar with id tags and a leash on them when outside.
When the dog’s come in from outside, thoroughly wipe their stomach, legs and paws to clean off debris. Salt, antifreeze and other winter chemicals that may attach to your pet can be dangerous and potentially fatal if ingested.
You wouldn’t dare to go outside and brave the elements without a coat, so neither should your pet. That thick winter coat is their defense against the cold. If you have a smaller or short haired breed consider a jacket or sweater for them to keep them warm when they venture outside.
Housebreaking a puppy in the winter can be very difficult. Puppies and older dogs are more sensitive to cold weather at those ages, and like the warm indoor temperatures. Consider paper training puppies or only taking them outside to use the restroom if outdoor temperatures seem to be too much for them.
If your dog spends a lot of time outdoors, be sure to increase their food supply. Protein will help strengthen both their body and coat.