With the winter months just beginning to set in, many of us are winterizing our homes to help our families remain warm until it passes. Our pets are trying to do the same. Although they’re covered in fur, they can still be affected by the cold temperatures. If you’re looking for some tips on how to take care of your pet during the winter, we got you covered.
1. Adjust Caloric Intake For Activity Levels
Similarly to humans, the winter months can see a dramatic decrease or increase in activity for your pet. To prevent your pet from gaining extra weight, observe them carefully as winter begins to set in and adjust their amount of daily food accordingly. For pets that are extremely active and love to play in the snow, give them a larger amount of daily food to maintain their metabolism. For pets that are less active and enjoy staying inside to nap, consider reducing their daily food to prevent unnecessary weight gain.
2. Prepare For Outside Walks
While we humans will bundle up in warm clothes and boots for a short walk out in the snow, we don’t bundle up our pets. That can actually be to their detriment. Frostbite can affect our pets as well as ourselves. Paws, tails, and ears are all vulnerable to frostbite. Ears and tails are harder to protect on an animal, but paws have options. There are booties that will slip over your dog’s paws to protect them from frostbite. They will not only protect your pet’s paws from frostbite, they’ll also protect their paws from common toxic chemicals found on sidewalks and streets during the winter. The most common toxic chemicals are deicing agents and ice melt. This can pose a serious health risk to your pet because your dog will walk through these chemicals on its walk, track the chemicals home on its paws, and then lick its paws. This can lead to your pet unknowingly ingesting these toxic chemicals which can lead to serious health issues.
3. Make Heat Sources Pet-Proof
It’s only natural for your pets to congregate near sources of heat in your home such as radiators, fireplaces, wood stoves, ovens, etc. While these places feel wonderful to your pet at first, they can quickly become too warm. In the case of a wood stove or a radiator, the pet could try to lay on it or against it which could result in serious injuries. Be sure to block off your heat sources during the winter for your pet’s own safety.