Winter is here, even if the calendar says it’s a few more days! Here are some tips to keep your pets comfortable during the cold weather.
Make sure you have plenty of food and meds for your pets if the weather looks dicey. You don’t want to get caught low on munchies if you get snowed in or there is flooding on the roads.
Check water dishes frequently. Even though the temps are dropping, your pets still need lots of clean water. If you have any outside bowls, make sure they are not iced over. Your dogs will appreciate it if they go out for a romp.
Keep your pets inside when it gets cold and/or wet. If you wouldn’t want to be stuck outside, they won’t either. Just because they have fur doesn’t mean they won’t get cold.
When you do take pets on outings, be prepared. Dogs with medium to long coats should be fine, but just-clipped or very short-haired dogs will benefit from a coat of some kind. Watch the paws as well. Many dogs love the snow but they can build up ice crystals between their toes, which can sometimes cause bleeding. Also be careful around places that use salt or chemicals to de-ice the pavement. Wash those paws when you get home! And of course, keep your pets away from antifreeze.
Careful with the decorations for the holidays. Pointsettias in particular are poisonous to cats and dogs. Ribbon from presents can also cause huge problems if ingested (and it’s quite tempting, especially to playful kitties). Don’t leave packages with food items under the tree, unless you want them unwrapped quickly!
Candles can be easily knocked down by pets, so be careful.
Watch the people food. It’s tempting to share holiday meals with our four-footed friends, but rich sauces, salted foods, meat cooked with onions, and other such human goodies can cause digestive problems for critters. Don’t put candy dishes within snout reach!
Pets should not be left in cars for any length of time. Cold temps can be very dangerous. Tap the hood of your car before starting up your cars to make sure no cats or other small critters have hidden under the hood looking for warmth.
Don’t bathe your pets as much during the winter. If you do, make sure they are completely dry before going out anywhere.
Pets should have a warm cozy bed inside, away from drafts and windows. They like a little extra comfort in the winter, just like us!
Stay safe and warm!