Pet Care During the Winter Months

Winter is that time of year when the trees are bare and snow falls to the ground. It can be a wonderful time of year for many of us and we should know that pet care needs change in the winter as well. Cats and dogs know the winter season is approaching and prepare for it by growing their winter coats and they begin to react to the shorter amount of daylight as humans do.

  • Some pet owners make the mistake of assuming that their pets are accustomed to the winter conditions and think that they can still leave them outdoors for long periods of time, but there are things to consider with your pet care when the winter months approach.

  • Make sure that you take your pet to the vet before winter sets in to make sure that your dog or cat is in good health. Older dogs can tend to get sick more easily in the months of winter and if your pet has arthritis or diabetes, he should always get a good check up.

  • Make sure that you watch your pet carefully when it is cold outside. Remember that if you are cold outside, your pet probably is to so if they seem cold, it is a good idea to bring them back inside with you.

  • Keep an eye on potential winter hazards. If you live in an area by ponds or lakes, you should keep your dog away from the ice. You are not always able to judge how thick the ice is and it can be a hazard to your pet. Pet care during the winter requires special attention on your part that you may take for granted. Other hazards like sticks, rocks or trash can be hidden by ice and freshly fallen snow, so make sure you are with your dog when he is walking.

  • Watch out for antifreeze around your pets. The smell of antifreeze attracts dogs and they may drink it if they find it, it is extremely dangerous to your animals, and proper pet care in the winter requires that you keep it out of reach of your pets.

  • Make sure you have a warm shelter for your dog if they need to be outside for long periods of time. They should have a warm bed and fresh water that is not frozen.

  • Be careful when you use rock salt or other ice melting products as they can be harmful to the pads of your dog’s paws.

  • Be very gentle with dogs that are ill or elderly because they can develop worse arthritis in the winter months. Make sure that you are near them when they go around stairs and other areas where they could fall.

  • Cats like to crawl up into warm engines in cars when it is cold outside, so if your cat goes outside be sure to check every time that you start your car to watch out for your cat.

  • Pet sweaters are also a good idea for your dog if they are outside to help keep them warm.

Follow these steps for proper pet care during the winter months.

No comments: