Taking Care of Your Pet at Winter Time
Pets, like humans, are affected by extreme temperature changes, especially during the winter. The recent dumping of snow by super storm Jonas affected people all across the country and, while there is no available data as yet, many pets as well.
If you own a pet, you should learn how to protect them when winter time comes around. Cold weather is simply dangerous to the coats, limbs, and skin of common pets, such as cats and dogs. Additionally, prolonged exposure may lead to serious injury to the animal or even death. So, how do you protect them from the bitter cold? Here are a few tips that can benefit you and your pet, whether you are a long time owner or owning your first.
1. Keep your pet in a warm area: If you are not one of those pet owners who allows your pets inside, you should have a warm, cozy area set up for them. In addition to being well-ventilated, it should also be kept warm, so maybe you’ll have to buy a humidifier for your pet’s home. You should also include a warm blanket and other bedding materials, similar to the types you use to keep you warm. If you keep them in the house with you, be sure to dry them off with a dry towel when they come inside. Also, ensure there are no snow fragments in their coat or on their feet – give special attention to the spaces in between their toes, as moisture can build up and cause fungal problems.
2. Bathe your pets only when necessary: Bathing your dog regularly may be a routine that you and your pet look forward to. However, at winter time, bathing them routinely can result in moisture-loss and cause irritating skin conditions. Additionally, some shampoos remove strip the coat and remove important oils from the skin, which may not be replaced. Therefore, if you have to bathe your dog, invest in a suitable moisturizing shampoo recommended by a certified vet.
3. Increase the amount of food you give to your pet at winter: Keeping warm in the cold of winter may cause your dog to burn extra energy and get hungry quicker. Adding a little bit more feed to their bowl or feeding them a little more often can help to keep their energy level up and reduce hunger pangs. Also, make sure that their water bowls remain filled – cold weather can cause dehydration if they are not drinking sufficient water.
4. Avoid shaving during winter time: Shaggy dogs may need to be shaved from time to time but during the winter is not recommended. Their coats are there to protect them from cold anyway, so removing it during winter would be bordering on cruelty. If you absolutely have to shave your dog, trim the coat to a level where there is still a lot of hair left on their bodies to keep them warm.
5. Keep your dog dry on walks: Taking your dog out for a walk during the winter time is good for both your pet and you. However, a downpour of snow or cold air may be quite disconcerting to your pet. If possible, walk with a towel that you can use to wipe their paws, which may get cramped from walking on cold and wet surfaces. Also, when you get back home, you may want to clean off your dog’s feet to get rid of any chemicals or ice that may get lodged between the grooves of their paws.
Treating your pet right during the winter is not very difficult. Think about the things you want for yourself in order to stay dry and warm and apply them to your pet.