Pets Feel Cold Weather Too
We humans feel the cold of winter. We wrap up warm when we go out, turn up the heating at home, and try not to think too hard about the higher power bills we’ll get at the end of the month. It isn’t just humans that can feel the cold, though. Our pets might have natural fur coats, but they can get cold and suffer too, especially if they are outdoor pets. Here then are a few cold weather tips for making sure that your pets, and any other animals that might be around your home, all have an easier time this winter.
1 – Your dog needs a walk at least once a day, rain, shine or snow, and when it’s raining, your dog will obviously get wet. It isn’t really enough to let your dog shake itself, once inside the house again. You should thoroughly wipe your dog’s stomach and legs with a dry towel. This will not only make your pet more comfortable, but it will help to prevent it getting a chill. You might even want to use the blow dryer to dry the fur. If you do, be sure it is not on the hottest setting and keep the blow dryer moving instead of isolating one area at a time. You don’t want to overheat your dog!
2 – In winter, sidewalks may have salt or even antifreeze sprayed on them to prevent icing. If your pet has been walking through such conditions, you will need to clean off your dog’s paws as soon as you are indoors. Salt or antifreeze can irritate a dog’s paws, which will cause the dog to lick them. If it ingests these chemicals, it could get very ill. Even if it doesn’t result in obvious damage, it isn’t a good idea to have your pet ingesting such chemicals, so always try to prevent it happening. There are booties that can be put on the dog’s paws to keep them from getting the salt or antifreeze on them.
3 – Regular washing is normally good for a pet, for like us humans, they can start to smell a bit if it has been a while since their last bath. However, during a cold spell it is best not to wash your pet, for this can remove essential oils, which can result in your pet developing dry and flaky skin. There are good moisturizing pet shampoos available, but ask your vet or a knowledgeable source to help choose one for you if you must wash your pet during cold spells.
4 – Unfortunately rabbits and similar pets are usually kept in a hutch outdoors, but in really cold weather they can suffer. If you think it’s too cold to be outside, your pet will think the same. Get them inside during cold spells. They can literally freeze to death in particularly cold weather, so be mindful of the conditions, and of your pet’s comfort and well being.
5 – Whatever species your pet might be, it will expend extra energy during cold spells in an effort to try and keep warm. Your pet, just like you, gets all its energy from its food, so when it becomes cold, give your pet a little extra food to eat, and provide extra water too, to help equalize the expenditure of energy. Your pet will thank you for it, and it will help to keep your pet happy and much more comfortable.
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