The Big Chill: Keeping Your Pet Warm This Winter

Keeping Keeping Your Pet Warm This Winter is part of responsible pet care and pet safety

Winter winds are on the horizon, and with freezing weather and storms come many discussions about how to keep warm, safe, and dry. Our pets need to be included in these discussions too, whether they are indoors or outdoor pets.

A common misconception is that a pet’s coat will keep them warm enough to brave winter weather. But in truth, fur is not adequate protection from winter cold, wind, and wet. Animals are just as likely to get hypothermia and frostbite as their owners.

Luckily, with a few tips and some knowledge, you can help with keeping your pet warm this winter season. In fact, many of the same safety measures you take for yourself will also keep your best friend safe and warm.

Continue…

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

 

Old Man Winter may be in town, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the Great Outdoors with the family pet.  If you are going to be spending time outside, however, there are some special precautions that must be taken in order to ensure everyone has a great time!  Take the following into account when spending time in the elements this winter:

  • Be sure that your pet has access to water.  Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean hydration is not necessary.  Don’t forget that many water sources freeze in the winter.
  • Pay attention to the paws!  Your pet’s paws may become sore or even cut when walking on frozen ground and ice.  You might consider investing in some protective doggy boots if trekking for long periods in these conditions.
  • Many ice-melting products are not pet-friendly!  Use a pet-approved product for your own property and be sure to clean any potential contamination from your pet’s fur and paws upon your return home.
  • Steer clear of antifreeze.  Even a tiny amount of this sweet substance can be lethal.
  • Be extra careful around frozen lakes and ponds.  If your pet should fall in accidently, it may not be able to get out.  Hypothermia is also a concern.
  • Use extra care in icy areas for both you and your pet.
  • If your pet begins to shake or shiver, it is time to end your outing.  Just because your pet is wearing a fur coat doesn’t mean it can’t get cold.  Just like you, the more active your dog is, the warmer it will stay.  Your pet may benefit from wearing doggy booties or a coat.
  • Try to target your outdoor activities for the warmest part of the day.  There is a big difference between going for an hour long walk at noon and walking in the evening after the sun has gone down!

Don’t keep your pup all cooped up until Spring!  By getting out, you will enjoy the season and keep you and your pet healthy and fit.  Just be aware of weather-related dangers so that you can head outdoors worry-free.

 

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

 

Old Man Winter may be in town, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the Great Outdoors with the family pet.  If you are going to be spending time outside, however, there are some special precautions that must be taken in order to ensure everyone has a great time!  Take the following into account when spending time in the elements this winter:

  • Be sure that your pet has access to water.  Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean hydration is not necessary.  Don’t forget that many water sources freeze in the winter.
  • Pay attention to the paws!  Your pet’s paws may become sore or even cut when walking on frozen ground and ice.  You might consider investing in some protective doggy boots if trekking for long periods in these conditions.
  • Many ice-melting products are not pet-friendly!  Use a pet-approved product for your own property and be sure to clean any potential contamination from your pet’s fur and paws upon your return home.
  • Steer clear of antifreeze.  Even a tiny amount of this sweet substance can be lethal.
  • Be extra careful around frozen lakes and ponds.  If your pet should fall in accidently, it may not be able to get out.  Hypothermia is also a concern.
  • Use extra care in icy areas for both you and your pet.
  • If your pet begins to shake or shiver, it is time to end your outing.  Just because your pet is wearing a fur coat doesn’t mean it can’t get cold.  Just like you, the more active your dog is, the warmer it will stay.  Your pet may benefit from wearing doggy booties or a coat.
  • Try to target your outdoor activities for the warmest part of the day.  There is a big difference between going for an hour long walk at noon and walking in the evening after the sun has gone down!

Don’t keep your pup all cooped up until Spring!  By getting out, you will enjoy the season and keep you and your pet healthy and fit.  Just be aware of weather-related dangers so that you can head outdoors worry-free.

 

Bored dog looking out the windowDoes this weather have your pup feeling blue?  As Old Man Winter settles in, most pooches get less exercise due to plummeting temperatures and early sunsets.  Here are a few ideas to banish the winter blahs once and for all!

  • Teach an old dog new tricks
    No matter how well trained your dog is, there is something he can learn.  Head to the library and check out one of the many books loaded with ideas for new tricks, or work on some oldies but goodies like roll over or shake.  Your dog will appreciate the quality time.
  • Head back to class
    Many obedience schools have indoor facilities where your pet can brush up on their manners, take part in agility, or become certified as a Canine Good Citizen.  Activities like these not only burn off some steam, but help your dog be the best he can be! Not sure where to go? Give us a call and we can give you some suggestions.
  • Bundle up and brave the great outdoors
    Break out the hats and gloves (and dog booties and coats if appropriate) and enjoy the weather. Most dogs love to romp around in the snow, and you’ll get some exercise, too.
  • Have a snuggle session
    Sometimes nothing beats curling up with a good movie, some popcorn, and your favorite pet (or pets)!
  • Play a game
    Many pets will get hours of enjoyment out of a new interactive toy or playing a round of hide-and-seek with their owner or a special treat.
  • Make it a date
    Does your dog have any canine friends that he might enjoy visiting?  Maybe he’d enjoy a day playing with other dogs at a doggie daycare?  Dogs that enjoy social activities often love a little time with their puppy pals.

So worry no more… there is plenty for you and your dog to do over the winter months.  And even better, spring is right around the corner!

Winter Tips for Your Frigid Feline or Pupsicle

Dog in SnowThere is no doubt that winter is on its way.  As temperatures drop there are some special considerations for our pets.  Did you know that…

  • … salt products used to melt ice can be very irritating to delicate paws and some are even toxic?  Use pet-friendly ice melting products for your sidewalks and driveway and be sure to wipe your pet’s tootsies and underside when they come in after a walk.
  • … anti-freeze is lethal to pets even in tiny amounts?  This sweet tasting liquid causes rapid kidney failures.  Notify neighbors if you notice a leak in their driveway and use a pet-safe alternative for your own vehicles.
  • … many a chilly kitty has taken refuge on a warm engine block.  If you do not park in a garage, bang on the hood of your car to scare off any stowaways before starting your engine to avoid an unwitting animal becoming injured under your hood.
  • … pets can get frostbitten too!  While many do sport a warm, furry coat, they should not spend a substantial amount of time outdoors in subzero temperatures without shelter.  Thinner coated pets might benefit from a warm coat and/or booties as well.
  • … very young or elderly animals may not tolerate the chilly weather as well others?  Use common sense when taking these animals outdoors this winter.
  • … cats should be kept inside whenever possible in the winter?  The dangers of being outdoor increase substantially for kitties when the temperatures plunge.
  • … dogs can lose their scent in the snow?  A dog that panics off leash in a snow storm may not be able to find it’s way home like it would normally.  Keep your dog leashed.

As always, please call us if you have any questions about keeping your pet safe this winter.