Keep your dog or cat healthy, comfortable and safe in the colder months by following these winter pet care and outdoor safety tips.
As the temperatures drop, make sure your outdoor pets have the proper shelter. If your dog resides in the backyard, a sturdy, weather-proof, shelter with the open away from the wind is necessary. Provide daily fresh water (snow is not a substitute) which should be changed as often as needed if the weather is below freezing. Fresh food should be available at a minimum of two times daily. Put straw, pads, and blankets on the floor of the doghouse because the floor can become extremely cold in the winter.
Keep an eye on the wind chill, which makes the days and nights colder than actual temperature readings. When it’s really cold, prevent frostbite on your dogs’ ears, tail, and feet by bringing them indoors. Please be careful about leaving them in the backyard for too long. Ice storms and sleet can also pose a threat to your dog when they are outside due to ice-encrusted branches falling off and slick yards.
While healthy pets can tolerate inclement weather, when the weather is sustained at below-freezing temperatures, pets can thrive more readily when brought indoors, into a garage or house. Older or sick pets may not be able to endure harsh temperatures and should be accommodated indoors.
Winter Pet Care
Pay special attention to your dog’s wellbeing during the winter season. After outdoor trips, prevent cuts and abrasions by gently removing snow, ice and salt from their paws and coat as soon as they come inside. Check your outdoor pet regularly for signs of diseases of the skin, diarrhea, lack of appetite, or other signs that they are not well.
In the winter continue grooming your dog regularly because a well-groomed coat keeps your pet properly insulated. In the same vein, is your dog short- or coarse-haired? Keep them warm with a sweater or coat so they can enjoy their walk without getting chilled.
Don’t leave your dog alone in a car. The carbon monoxide from your running engine will endanger your dog’s life. If the engine is off, the temperature in the car will get too cold.
Outdoor Safety Guidelines
Every winter we use a variety of chemical products to remove ice and snow from our cars and sidewalks. In addition to outdoor holiday decorations, many of these products are dangerous to animals.
When applying rock salt to sidewalks, steps and driveways, try to use a pet-friendly version and make sure animals do not ingest it. When you add antifreeze to your car, don’t leave any on the driveway or sidewalk. While it smells and tastes good to your dog, just a few drops can be lethal if ingested.
Watch out for outside electrical cords from lighted up or moving holiday decorations. Pets often try to chew them and may be badly shocked or electrocuted. Place the wires out of reach.
Follow these tips to keep a close eye on your dog’s health and temperament. Your pet can enjoy a happy and healthy life outdoors if needs are adequately met. As always, if you are ever concerned about your dogs’ health, don’t hesitate to bring them in for a checkup.
Please Contact us (513- 829-8989) if you have any questions about your pets health.