Protecting pets in cold weather is a must. As cold weather begins to be the norm in the coming months, it’s time to think about your pets. There are steps you can take to protect them from the cold as well as keep them comfortable whether on a walk or even inside your home.
Humidify for comfort. Cold temperatures are accompanied by dry air which can affect your pet in many ways. Dry throats, static electricity, difficulty breathing and dry itchy skin can indicate that a humidifier is needed. Fish oil supplements can also be helpful for your cat or dog’s skin and coat. Check with your vet for dosage.
Proper attire. Some pets need clothing to keep warm. Protecting pets during outside time is important, wind chill can threaten your dog’s life. There are breeds that have short to no hair such as the popular Chinese Crested dog and the Sphynx cat. Even my own Pit Bull Terrier has very short fur so she is easily chilled in the cooler months whether inside or out. I have found that layering a couple of sweaters helps tremendously and even a coat on top of that for when we go outside on walks. These are readily available at any pet store.
Protect paws from ice and the salt or chemicals used to melt it. Wax based creams like Musher’s Secret safeguard paws from ice, salt and even hot pavement. Dog booties are another option that will keep paws free from irritants. Dog paws can get frostbite with extended exposure to ice or snow. So be sure to get booties that are thick enough or at the very least be sure to limit outdoor exposure time and wash your pet’s paws upon returning home.
More food may be necessary if your pet spends a lot of time out of doors. Their body will burn more energy while attempting to regulate temperature and stay warm. Extra calories means extra warmth. With cold comes dry, so plenty of fresh drinking water is also important.
Just because they can survive, doesn’t mean they are comfortable!
Keep pets inside when temperatures really dip. If it’s cold to you it’s cold to them. If you own outdoor pets make sure to provide a safe, warm shelter that is small enough to trap body heat, is elevated off the ground and has some type of bedding such as straw. Protecting pets by allowing access to a garage would be great as well. Remember, just because they can survive, doesn’t mean it’s comfortable!