Powered by Mom Talks About Pet Care for Cold Weather
There’s no denying it that for most of us the cold weather is here. For those who are lucky enough to live in warmer climates we envy you. However for those of us with the chilly cold weather upon us and who also have pets we need to think about our pet care for the cold weather too.
Above is our Oliver who we call Ollie, even though he’s sitting up he’s still quite sleepy as you can see. He’s a little rascal but oh so cuddly. All of our cats have always been indoor cats except Ollie the escape artist. He gets out as he’s so darn fast, we’ve never had issues keeping our cats indoors until Ollie. He gets out sometimes even in the winter so we’ve had to take some pet care precautions for our wayward kitty. Fortunately with this cold weather when Ollie does manage to escape he doesn’t want to stay outside for too long. He likes to come in after a bit and take a good catnap. That said though as mentioned for our pet care plans for the cold weather we’ve taken a few steps for Ollie and when we take our dogs outside too.
Some pets spend a lot of time outside, either by their own choice or by necessity which as we’ve mentioned that’s Ollie. We’ve got a large dog house right next to our house that also has a cat bed that is raised off the ground of the dog house. We built this one ourselves and the one wall is actually the wall of our house. So for those times he doesn’t come in at night (which is very rare in winter) he has somewhere to go to be out of the wind, rain etc… As well we keep a bowl of water in there for him with a bowl heater. That’s a big part of our pet care plan, especially for Ollie.
Use pet-friendly snow melters
Choose pet-friendly ice and snow melters that won’t irritate paws or stomachs, especially if your dog or cat licks its paws after being outside. This can be huge as part of your pet care plan. Many don’t know that some snow melters can be toxic to pets.
Ollie does love to sleep when he’s indoors. He’ll sleep on about anything including our stuff for wrapping gifts this holiday season apparently.
Protect your dog’s paws with a wax product designed for this purpose that forms a dense, breathable bond, which helps prevent snow buildup during outdoor exercise. After walks, wipe away any snow or ice from your dog’s feet, legs and belly. This is very important for both of our dogs Luna and Little Zeus aka LZ. LZ is a chihuahua and his little paws get cold quick.
For extended periods outside, you can purchase boots for your pup’s paws. The first time you put them on your dog, there may be a comical reaction. Some dogs decide they simply can’t move with those things on their feet. Others walk around lifting their feet up exceptionally high like a prancing pony. But don’t worry, it doesn’t take long to get used to the boots! Distract your dog with treats or a fun activity while he is wearing his boots and soon he will forget all about them. You could also try putting socks on your dog before you introduce the booties so he feels comfortable with something on his feet. Make sure the boots don’t fit too tightly so as to cut off the circulation and invite frostbite.
Coat or no coat?
If you live in a particularly frigid zone, you may want to consider a jacket for an extra layer of warmth for your pup while outside. Cats generally don’t fare well in jackets but dogs who don’t have a ‘double coat’ may benefit from wearing a jacket while outside for their walks. There is a huge variety available, from a simple sweater to a full-blown waterproof jacket with hood. However, do reserve the wearing of such warm apparel only for when you are outside. Our chihuahua LZ of course gets a coat when we go outside but our dog Luna who is a Blue Heeler does not. She always seems to be warm and when given the choice she even sleeps near our back door (inside) as she likes the bit of coolness she feels from the door.
Normally we take LZ’s coat off when he comes inside but on this particularly cold day he was very happy to have it on even inside.
Use a humidifier
Cooler weather usually brings dry air, so using a humidifier will help to keep the noses and throats of our dogs and cats from drying out. It’s the same for their coat and skin.
Show them extra love with Tasty Treats
The holidays are all about showing love and appreciation so give your cat or dog some extra belly rubs and treats to make up for the chilly weather and any cold shoulders you may receive due to holiday travel. Petcurean’s SPIKEtreats for dogs are great because their packed with superfoods like Chia Seeds, Pomegranate and Kale, plus they’re portable. For Cats, try Petcurean’s new NOW FRESH Stews and Pates, you can feed these as a complete meal, but they’re also perfect as a topper or served as an extra treat. Added bonus – they’re made with 100% human grade, fresh ingredients including turkey bone broth, sweet potatoes, peas and carrots, and feature zero grains, gluten, wheat, beef, corn or soy.
Be safe and alert when walking at night
Poor weather and decreased daylight may cause limited visibility for drivers at night, so take extra precautions when walking your pets and make sure you use a leash. Nowadays there are all kinds of reflective aids to help drivers see you in the dark. Reflective collars, leashes, harnesses and vests for both you and your dog are great ways to stay visible.
Keep them inside
Lastly, if it is cold enough outside that YOU don’t want to be out in it, you should assume the same for your pet, especially the very old, the very young, or the sick. Keep them inside with you.
It doesn’t take much to prep your pets for cooler weather. But thinking a little ahead and getting ready for Old Man Winter in good time will ensure you don’t get ‘caught out in the cold’, and neither will your pet!
What other pet care tips for cold weather do you use do? Please feel free to share we love to hear from you.
Don’t forget to check out some of our other pet care tips in our pet section HERE.