Your pet’s safety and wellness in cold weather depends largely on you. To get through the cold winter months until spring arrives, use these tips for keeping pets safe in cold weather.
Take your pet to the vet at least once a year for a preventive care exam. Winter is a good time of year to go because arthritis and other medical conditions may worsen in cold weather, and your vet can give you helpful advice.
Pets that are very young, elderly, short-haired, small or possess certain medical conditions have a lower cold-weather tolerance. Whether your pet is particularly susceptible to cold or not, you should keep your pet inside during subfreezing weather. If that’s not possible, provide a solid outdoor shelter to protect him from the rain, snow and wind.
You may want to shorten wintertime walks, but even so, dress your short-haired pooch in a sweater or dog coat. Booties are also available to protect your dog’s feet. Always keep a collar on your pet and keep him leashed on walks. Up-to-date registration could be a lifesaver if your pet gets lost.
Avoid icy or frigid water. If your pet falls in, it could be deadly. Also, pay attention to how your dog walks while outside. Sudden lameness could be caused by the accumulation of ice and snow on his feet. Reduce this occurrence by clipping the hair between your dog’s toes.
After taking a walk with your dog, check his paws for cold-weather damage, such as bleeding or cracked pads. Wipe down your dog’s legs, feet and belly to remove antifreeze, deicers and other potentially dangerous chemicals from his fur.
It is also important to keep up with their medication so they remain healthy. The quality of your indoor air, temperature and humidity levels can also affect pets. Speak with your HVAC contractor about how to ensure that as you heat your home this winter, your use of your HVAC system won’t negatively affect your pets.