It’s that time of year again. We can’t keep the snow and freezing temps away, but we can share some simple advice to keep you and your furry ones comfortable during the chilly season. Here are our top 10 winter weather pet tips:
- Keep pets hydrated. Provide fresh, unfrozen water at all times.
- Take shorter walks. Allow dogs the opportunity to get daily exercise in the winter. This might mean taking 2-3 shorter walks versus 1 long daily walk.
- Wipe off your dog’s paws after walks OR invest in a pair of doggie booties, if your pup will tolerate them. The booties not only protect the dog’s paws from the cold but they also keep paws clean from antifreeze, rock salt, and other dangerous chemicals that can be picked up from the ground.
- Keep pets indoors as much as possible but if they must be outdoors, provide warm, accessible shelter from the elements. Remember that an acceptable shelter means that it should provide protection from the elements and your pet should be able to move comfortably and lay down in it. If you have more than one dog outside, make sure that their shelter will accommodate both at the same time. An outdoor heating pad or a space heater is a great way to be sure your dog stays warm and cozy, but ultimately, when temperatures drop it’s best to let your four-legged friend inside.
- In extremely cold weather, go outdoors with your pet — when you are ready to go back inside, your pet is probably ready as well.
- Give cats a warm comfy bed by a window. Cats love to look out windows, but they can get chilly in the winter. Make sure your cat stays warm by adding a few extra blankets.
- Groom cautiously. Dogs need longer hair in the winter to stay warm. Pay attention to your dog’s coat: fur that is too long can get tangled, become harder to brush, and make it tough for them to see.
- Invest in a sweater for short-haired dogs. This will help them stay warm in the chilly weather — and they’ll look cute too!
- Keep pets ID’d and microchipped in case they get lost. Dogs and cats depend on their sense of smell to find their way back home, but a fresh snowfall can restrict their senses. A pet ID and microchip will increase the odds of your furry family member returning home.
- Cats and dogs get cabin fever too! Give them fun indoor activities that stimulate their mind while they are cooped up without much physical exercise during the winter months.
We hope these tips will make the next few months go by a little faster for you and your pets. Warm wishes!