By: Kaitlin McCarthy
With the temperature dropping and winter just around the corner, it is important to keep your pet warm and safe. Here are some tips to ensure your pet is comfortable during the cold months:
Between the cold weather outside and warm temperature inside, it’s important to
protect your pet’s skin. Going between warm and cold temperatures quickly can irritate a dog’s skin. The ASPCA recommends completely drying off your dog, along with his/her paw pads to remove any snowballs and/or salt from between their pads. Salt will not only irritate the skin, but if ingested can cause serious health issues.
If you plan on putting ice salt down on your driveway to prevent slippery spots, it’s important to use non-toxic or all natural products. Salt can get caught in a dog’s fur or between the pads of their paw and if ingested can make a dog seriously ill. Check out SafePaw or Paw Thaw at your local Petco. If you don’t feel comfortable putting ice salt down around your pet, you can also try dog boots. Boots will protect your dog’s paws from extreme cold, salt and sharp ice. It might take some time for your dog to adjust to something on his/her paws, but boots are the safest option.
Just like people, dogs can have a hard time warming up and staying warm once cold.
It’s a good idea to give your pet extra blankets and pillows in the winter, especially if you dog has a short coat. Another option is to get your dog a heated dog bed or heating pad. Dr. Foster Smith online offer heated beds as well as other winter essentials. Don’t forget to keep your dog’s bed away from windows and vents, cold air can creep in giving your dog more than a cold nose.
For families with cats, particularly outdoor cats, it is important to provide a safe and warm haven in the event your cat is not able to get inside. Purchasing or creating a shelter can ensure your cat has a place to go in the middle of the night or when mother nature decides to let it snow. Basic shelters can be created with items from a local Home Depot or Lowes.