Oh the weather outside is frightful…
With the temperatures dropping and the wind chill making it even colder, it’s not just people that need to be concerned about the effects of winter weather. Pet owners need to protect their furry friends from the cold as well and provide them with a little extra care in the coming months.
Keep Them Cozy
The best place for your pet to be is inside your home where they will be out of the elements. If your pet must stay outdoors, an elevated, enclosed shelter with clean bedding and a flap over the door to help minimize drafts is a good option. Alternatively, you may consider installing a pet door to your garage where they can escape the cold – just make sure to provide them with a cozy place to lay.
Provide Fresh Water
Outdoor water bowls can freeze quickly in winter. Check them regularly and replace any ice with fresh water. Heated water bowls can be purchased to keep water from freezing.
During winter, pets kept outdoors need more calories to produce enough body heat. Increase the amount of food you give them to keep your pets healthy and warm. On the other hand, indoor pets may get less exercise in the cold months; monitor their food intake and adjust it as necessary to avoid weight gain.
Protect Their Paws
Chemicals and salt used to melt snow and ice can irritate an animal’s paws. Wipe your pet’s feet with a wet cloth after an outing in the snow to help prevent problems. If your pet is outside for longer periods of time, you may need to check their paws and remove any snow and ice stuck between their paw pads.
Clean Up Antifreeze
Antifreeze tastes good to pets but is deadly if ingested. Flush any drainage spots in your garage or driveway with water immediately.
Check Your Car
Occasionally, a cat or dog may crawl under your car seeking shelter and warmth near the engine. Before starting your car, knock on the hood a couple times or honk the horn to alert any animals and give them a chance to escape.