This Winter, Here Are 6 Tips to Keep Your Pets Safe and Warm
(Family Features) It's vital to consider dogs' requirements this time of year, just as humans prepare their homes, automobiles, and families for the harsh temperatures and weather events of winter.
As the winter months approach, Dr. Jennifer Freeman, DVM, a resident veterinarian at PetSmart, offers some ideas to help you prepare and keep your dogs warm and happy.
When you're outside, be cautious.
When temperatures drop to dangerously low levels, Freeman advises minimizing outside outings and keeping an eye on your pet for symptoms of stress or discomfort. It's fine to let your dog out for a little stroll or to use the toilet, but never leave a pet outside for an extended amount of time, especially during a winter storm.
"After a snowstorm, don't let your dog off the leash since the snow might hide recognizable odours," Freeman said. "If your pet gets too far away, they may become disoriented or lost."
Adding More Layers
Even if you try to minimize your pet's time outside, he or she needs to go outside for toilet breaks and exercise. Small, short-haired, elderly, or sick pets may be particularly vulnerable to cold temperatures.
Warmth may be provided via pet sweaters. Shivering indicates that your pet requires additional layers. Consider wearing booties outside to assist trap body heat and protect paws from excessive cold.
Keep an eye out for potentially hazardous chemicals.
Many people use deicers, antifreeze, and salt to melt snow, but these materials can cause skin irritation and be dangerous if consumed by your pet. When their pets are outside, pet parents should keep an eye on them and be aware of any dangers. It's critical to completely rinse your pet's paws and tummy after a walk, especially if you've been strolling in regions where these chemicals are commonly used, according to Freeman.
Keep your skin safe.
Many dogs, like people, suffer from dry skin in the winter. When giving your pet a wash, use a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to keep their skin moisturized and healthy. Supplements like fish oil might be added to your pet's diet if his or her skin appears to be very dry. It's crucial to keep an eye on your skin's health and consult your veterinarian if concerns continue since they might indicate broader difficulties.
Have an emergency plan in place.
"Don't forget about your pet's requirements while putting together emergency kits in case of a storm or power loss," Freeman said. "In an emergency, such as blizzards or extreme weather, a pet's pack should include essentials to keep them nourished, warm, and safe." Sweaters, insulated jackets, paw booties, pet-safe ice melt, and a heated bed or pad may all help keep your pet safe from the dangers of frigid weather."
Other items your pet might need, such as prescriptions, puppy pads, waste bags, litter box supplies, and soothing spray, should be gathered. Freeman also recommends keeping a one-week supply of food, bottled water, and portable bowls in a waterproof container, as well as a note of feeding regimens and behavioral considerations in case your pet has to be cared for by others.
Make sure your identification information is up to date.
While winter circumstances may heighten the urgency, it's critical that your pet wears a tag with your phone number all year. Microchip and register your pet, and include a copy of their immunization and medical records, veterinary contact information, and a recent photo in your emergency pack.