Winter Safety Tips for Pet Paw-rents to Live By
The cold weather is upon us, which means it’s upon Fido, too. While some pets love the ice and snow, others prefer to stay indoors and let the storm pass as they await summer. Cats, for example, will likely be dreaming of their next plot of window sunshine to take a warm nap in, while some dogs can’t wait to dive into the slushy snow.
If you find yourself in the cold often, it’s important to take your safety into account—and the same goes for your pets. Without further ado, here are our top safety tips for pet paw-rents to live by in the winter.
- Think about your pet first. Do you have a kitten prone to shivering or a playful Bernese mountain dog? The species, breed, and temperament of your pet will let you know if your furry friend should be in the cold for very long, if at all. The rule of thumb with heat applies to the cold as well: if it’s far too extreme for a person to weather, it’s not a good idea for your pet to be outdoors either.
- Drying off wet paws goes a long way. The pets that do love a good romp in the snow will undoubtedly get their paws wet. When it’s time for your pet to come in and warm up, wiping their paws with a towel can help keep them warm. Additionally, this can get rid of ice balls that can lead to pain and discomfort.
- Vary the exercise. If your dog needs a lot of outdoor exercise, be aware that the days become shorter in the winter months and can lead to less time in the day for walks. In order to avoid being left out in the dark, try some indoor exercises that can be just as effective.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Some pet owners live in areas that experience sub-degree temperatures in the winter months. This can lead to delays in communication, power outages, and other challenges that can lead to immobility. Always be prepared for tough weather by making sure you have enough food, water, litter, bedding and specialty supplies for your pets in case you can’t leave your home.
- Take special care of your outdoor pets. If you’re the pet paw-rent to an outdoor or community pet, consider leaving an outdoor shelter so that they have somewhere nice and warm to wait out the cold. If you have chickens, it is essential that you have an insulated coop that can withstand harsh weather. Horses will also need shelters, and will specifically need access to unfrozen, fresh water 24/7.