Winter Tips To Keep Your Pets Warm
With everybody getting ready for the cold weather to arrive in Abilene, it’s important not to forget those other special ones in your life – your pets. So, here are some winter tips to help keep your pet warm.
Understand Your Breed
With dogs especially, it's important to know what your breed is susceptible to. For instance, short haired breeds might be prone to cold weather, while other breeds actually adapt to the cold air. For instance, a Siberian Husky might be good in the cold, while a little poodle would freeze it's little paws off. Also, consider your pets age as well.
Provide Appropriate Shelter
I have inside pets, so I don't have to worry about them freezing their paws off outside. I just let them out when they need to do their duty, and quickly let them back in. But, if you do have an outside pets, make sure they have plenty of bedding and shelter. You can use straw or other types of bedding in a dog house, barn or some other type of covered shelter, to help keep them warm. The best thing to do if temperatures are extremely cold outside, is to let those little fur balls in the house.
Provide Extra Bedding
Once again, if you just absolutely have to have your pet outside, you'll want to not only provide them with adequate shelter, but bedding is important as well. Old blankets, straw, even old clothes can go a long way to help your pet stay warm. Remember, dogs and cats can get frostbite just like humans can.
Pets obviously need food for energy and warmth, but, if you have an indoor pet, there is no need to feed them extra food or you'll just make your pet overweight. Now, if they are outside, you might want to give them a little extra, but not too much. Talk to your vet to find out what your pet's energy needs are. Also, make sure they have plenty of clean, and unfrozen, water. You can buy heated water dishes for your pet.
Groom Your Pet
Your pet's full coat is the source for being able to stay warm. So, it's important that you keep your pet groomed. A matted coat is not a good way of keeping out the cold rain or snow. And, you definitely don't want to shave your pet's coat. Just simply make sure they are brushed out and groomed. Also, make sure that you trim the hair around their paws. This will prevent ice or snow from balling up between their paws, which could cause cracking or cuts.
You can get canine clothing for any size dog, not just the little toy dogs. Whether they are store brought or even made, canine clothing will help keep your pet warm. You can even buy special booties for your pet to cover their paws. Also, if you put salt around your house to help with slick spots, remember that your pet's paws can get irritated. So, it's important to make sure that you wipe off their paws to avoid that.
Take Shorter Walks
Even when it's col outside, your pet still needs plenty of exercise. However, if you are going to walk them outside, make it a shorter walk. You can also play indoor games like tug-of-war, fetch, or anything that will keep them moving to get some exercise. Also, make sure to keep your dog on a leash if you are walking them outside. Dogs can become disoriented, and if they get away from you, it may be hard to track them down.
Never Leave Your Pet in a Vehicle
As always, you never want to leave your pet unattended in a vehicle no matter what the weather is like. When it is cold, your vehicle will pretty much act like a rolling freezer with temperatures becoming dangerously cold.
Keep An Eye Out for Any Illness
Just like humans, dogs and cats can catch a cold or other sort of illness from the frigid weather - especially if they are very young or very old. If you think your pet has caught some sort of illness, see your vet immediately.
Less or No Baths
If you routinely give your pet a bath each week, you might think about cutting back just a tad. This will help keep away severe cold problems. If you can't avoid giving them a bath, just make sure that you use warm water, and you dry them off completely.