Posted by Lora Shaw on October 19, 2016
Winter time can be a lot of fun for our furry friends. Watch a new puppy play in the snow for the first time and you’ll see what we mean. But cold weather also brings a number of dangers and discomforts for our pets. Aside from the cold, caring for pets in winter can take a little extra forethought.
Winter weather will be here faster than we know it. Before the season gets here, make sure you and your pets are ready to cope with the cold.
The outdoors can be a fun place to visit in the winter time, but it shouldn’t be a permanent vacation. If your dog or cat typically lives outside, you should strongly consider giving them an indoor living area if at all possible, especially at night.
If your dog does spend most of her time outside, it’s important that she has a dry, wind-blocking place for shelter, with warm blankets or straw to let her rest off of the cold ground. The shelter should also be small enough that it can retain enough of her body heat to stay warm.
Since they have a built-in fur coat, we may think our pets are well-suited for the cold weather. But sensitive areas like the pads of their feet, ears and the tips of their tail are as susceptible to frostbite as our own skin.
Be watchful for the signs of frostbite, such as blisters and hard, waxy skin. In very cold weather, booties made for pets can be a good option. And unless your dog is a Siberian Husky, fitted coats and sweaters can also help her retain body heat.
Cold weather might make you think twice about that morning walk, but your pet still requires the same amount of exercise she gets during warm weather.
One solution is to amp up the energy level when you are outside with your pet. Instead of a casual stroll, turn your outing into a fast-paced game of fetch, or other strenuous physical activity. Your dog (and you) will get the same level of workout, but with less time out in the cold.
If you’re hesitant to venture outside, the two of you can get your workout on any flight of stairs, or you can look around for local indoor agility or swimming classes.
Winter comes with more dangers than just the cold. Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and things like your car’s antifreeze or road salt on the sidewalk demand investigating.
It is imperative that you keep any antifreeze solutions or other potentially poisonous substances well out of reach during the winter. And while we call it ‘salt,’ road salt is actually a blend of chemicals that can prove toxic to our pets.
Treating your pet to a spa day is also a great way to spend a cold winter afternoon. Our staff at Pet Palace offers a complete suite of grooming services, which among other things helps keep your dog’s coat vibrant and healthy.
And if you’re heading out of town for the holidays, an overnight stay at our boarding resort can be a fun and relaxing alternative for your pet. Contact us online or at 614-472-8543 to make your dog’s holiday reservation.
About the author
Lora Shaw is currently the Vice President of Operations at Pet Palace.
Categories: Pet Safety