If You’re Cold, They’re Cold: Three Tips To Keep Your Pets Warm And Healthy This Winter
I'm sure you've driven around town these past few (really cold) days and have seen a few of our furry friends outside. Some of them can't get enough of it, to be sure. And some might be just as wussy as I am about the cold and can't stand it! I know there are circumstances when you have to have your dog or cat outside for some of the day, but hopefully they're not outdoors all day without shelter. If left outdoors, pets can freeze, become disoriented, lost, stolen, injured or killed. You probably shouldn’t leave pets alone in a car during cold weather, as cars can act as refrigerators that hold in the cold and cause animals to freeze to death.
Scary, I know. But, there are little things you can do to help them get a little warmer, a little safer, and more comfortable as a result.
1. Take Special Care Of Their Feet.
When they come in, make sure their feet are clean and dry. You don't want any bits of snow in-between the paw pads. Check for cracks in the paw pads. That's a really big deal as well when you come back from a walk - if there's salt on the sidewalks or roads, get that cleared out of those paws, too. And you never know what's on the road or sidewalk - what if somebody accidentally spilled some antifreeze? That's just as toxic for your pet as it is for you. Take a few minutes when they get inside to check 'em over, clean em up, and dry 'em off. You might try booties on their little feet when you go for a walk - or before you go out, you might also rub some petroleum jelly in their paw pads to keep them healthy and protected from the elements.
2. Keep Them Insulated.
Dogs and cats naturally have something that helps them fight the cold - their fur! So, don't shave them down for the winter. Sure, with some longer hair cats and dogs it helps to cut the hair from time to time, but maybe wait til spring or so. Little dogs probably would enjoy a sweater. Make sure that their bed is in an area that's warm and away from any draft as well. Washing too often can remove essential oils and increase the chance of developing dry, flaky skin. So try not to bathe them too much in the super cold weather - although I get if he's stanky, ya gotta do it.
3. Keep Them Well Fed.
This is another thing that will help with their coat and general health. It takes a little more energy for them to stay warm in weather like this, so to make up for it, add a scosh extra food in the bowl. Make sure they have lots of clean water to stay hydrated so their skin doesn't get flaky and painful. Keeping the house humidified with a vaporizer will help with that, too.
Do you have any tips for helping out our furry companions in this crazy cold?