With more wintry weather on the way, follow these 7 tips to make sure your pet stays safe and sound...and warm.
1. Know your pet’s tolerance. Just because you’re furry friend has fur doesn’t mean he handles the cold with ease. Animals with thin coats, as well as young and old animals, should be given extra warmth and care when the temperatures drop. However, even the toughest animals are subject to frostbite, hypothermia, and pneumonia when temperatures drop below 32 degrees fahrenheit, so make sure your pet isn’t left out in the cold.
2. Keep your pet on a leash. Snow can mask familiar smells, making it easier for a dog to lose the scent that would ordinarily lead him home. Snow can also change the way a landscape looks, so your pet might not be able to recognize where he is. The last thing you (or your pet) would want is for your pet to be lost out in the cold.
3. If you live near a body of water that freezes, do not let your pet walk on the ice. The ice could crack and your pet could fall through the ice, creating a life threatening situation for both you and your pet.
4. After walking your pet, make sure you wipe down the belly and feet to remove any salt, ice, or other chemicals your pet might have come in contact with while out and about. This will not only help protect your pet’s paws, but it will also prevent the ingestion of any toxins.
5. Pets can get dry skin, so use a humidifier in your home to help keep moisture in the air. Also, if you bathe your pet, use moisturizing shampoo. You could also consider bathing your pet less, which will help retain the natural oils that keep your pet’s skin healthy.
6. Make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep. This might seem obvious, but vents and doorways can bring in cold air, and an uncarpeted floor can feel chilled. Make sure your pet has a warm bed or blankets, away from any drafts, where he can rest comfortably and safely.
7. Keep your eyes out for other 4 legged creatures, too. Whether lost pets or stray animals, they will seek shelter in warm places...especially cats. Before getting in your car, make some noise to startle any animals that might be taking up temporary shelter under your hood or under your car.