Winter Pet Care Tips: Protect Your Pets from Cold Weather: The dry, cold air of winter and the cold rain, sleet, and snow can hurt pets in many ways. Their paws can get cracked and their skin can flake and it itch. If you take your dog for a walk in the winter and they lick the chemicals off of ice melters, it could be dangerous. The following tips from our experts will help keep your pet’s health from being affected by the cold weather:
Winter Pet Care Tips: Protect Your Pets from Cold Weather?
When you can, keep your pets inside.
It’s likely too cold for your pets if it’s too cold for you. When it’s very cold outside, don’t leave your pets outside for long periods of time. Dogs with short coats might need a coat or sweater when they go for walks.
Give your pets a place to stay outside.
If you let your dogs go outside, make sure they have a dry, draft-free doghouse that:
- Pets can sit or lie down in it, but it’s still small enough to keep their body heat in.
has a floor that is a few inches above the ground and is covered with straw or cedar shavings.
- It has a door that faces away from strong winds and is covered with a flap made of heavy, waterproof fabric or plastic.
- Take good care of your pet’s feet.
- The chemicals used to melt snow and ice, like salt, can hurt your pet’s feet. After a walk, gently rub the bottom of your pet’s paws with a damp towel to get rid of these irritants. During the winter, you can buy dog boots to keep their paws from getting irritated.
- Another thing you should look for is signs that your pet’s feet are too cold. For example, they might stop, whine, or lift their paws up a lot.
Give them extra water and food.
- When pets go outside in the winter, they have to work hard to stay warm. Give your pet a little extra food and check its water dish often to make sure the water is still fresh.
- If you don’t want your pet’s tongue to freeze to metal bowls, use plastic ones for food and water.
When you walk near water, wear a leash.
- Keep your pets on a leash when you walk near frozen water so they don’t jump on it.
- If your pet falls through the ice, don’t go out on it to save them.
- Call 9-1-1 or go get help if you can’t reach your pet from land. Read more Ice Safety Tips.
Pet owners should not lock their pets in cars.
- When it’s very cold outside, you should never lock your pet inside your car.
- Cars can keep cold air in like a fridge, which can be dangerous for your pet.
Pets should not be able to get to the antifreeze.
- A lot of types of antifreeze taste sweet, which can make animals want to eat them.
- Keep your pets away from antifreeze and clean up any spills right away to keep them from getting sick.
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