The Easiest Ways To Keep Your Pet Safe This Winter
Photo via Pixabay by Lepale
Many dogs love cold weather and enjoy playing in the snow, but that doesn’t mean they are equipped to withstand harsh temperatures, ice, and wind. It’s important for pet owners to know the dangers associated with wintertime where their pet is concerned and plan accordingly in order to keep them safe and happy.
Luckily, there are many easy ways to do this. Winter weather can be tricky to work around where dogs are concerned, but it doesn’t have to be stressful or harmful to your pet. Here are some of the best ways to keep your pet safe and comfortable during the coldest months.
Clean Those Feet
Your dog’s feet and their well-being are very important when the weather is extreme. Check the soft, tender pads on the bottom of his feet daily to make sure they aren’t dry and cracking.
Toenails should be clipped by a professional on a regular basis to keep them from snagging on the carpet and causing injury. Ice can cut up those little pads, so steer clear of frozen areas when you go out for walks. Be sure to keep some pet wipes handy at home so that when you return from a walk you can clean off your dog’s feet. Walking through winter chemicals– such as salt, antifreeze, and de-icer- -can be extremely toxic to your pet and can be poisonous if he should lick his feet.
Bring Your Pet In
Many dogs prefer to stay outside most of the day when the weather is nice, but when it’s very hot or very cold, you need to bring them in. That fur coat isn’t enough to keep them from being susceptible to hypothermia or even frostbite, so let them out to do their business and then get them back inside where it’s toasty.
If you work long hours and can’t get home to let your pet out, or if you’ll be going on vacation over the holidays and can’t bring him, consider a pet sitter. Having someone come to take care of your dog while you’re away will give you peace of mind and allow him to only go out when he needs to, rather than being trapped inside or outside all day.
Check His or Her Wardrobe
Small dogs or dogs with short hair may have trouble withstanding the cold, even on short walks.
Invest in a good sweater or dog blanket and wrap him up when you go out to prevent sickness.
Don’t Forget Bedding
Your pet may have a bed or particular place he/she likes to sleep in, but during the winter months he/she may need to move. If your pet’s bed is near a window or door, check for drafts to ensure the area will still be warm. Be careful about having electric blankets or space heaters too close to your pet; the latter can easily be knocked over. Before bedtime, check all bedding to make sure it didn’t get wet after the last walk of the evening.
Double-check The Car
If you have a pet who likes to wander, before starting up the car in the morning, check to make sure he/she hasn’t climbed under the car to find a warm spot. Cats are the main culprit where this is concerned, but small dogs do it too, and they can be injured or worse if you don’t know they’re there.
Written by Janice Miller, safetytoday.org