Winter weather means implementing safety precautions for all of us, including our pets. Here are three ways you can keep your furry loved-ones happy throughout the cold winter season.
Take caution of the cold: If you’re going out and want to bring your pet along, make sure pets are allowed ahead of time so they won’t have to stay out in the cold. If they aren’t allowed, leaving them at home is your best option where they can stay warm and be comfortable. If you live in a bitterly cold area, keeping them warm indoors is the best way to ensure your pets are safe from the cold and happier overall.
Keep them away from cold-weather chemicals: When taking your four-legged pals out for a walk, double check that the sidewalk is durable for a walk. Salt and other chemicals that are used to melt the snow and ice easier, can irritate the pads of their paws. Always wipe their paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them, which can cause his/her mouth to be irritated, as well. Antifreeze (car freeze) has a sweet taste that can attract dogs. A simple lick can be poisonous to them. If antifreeze chemicals are needed, consider switching to a Propylene Glycol product, which is much safer. Also, consider getting “booties” for your pet to wear as they walk on the snow, ice, and winter melting chemicals.
Grooming and feeding: Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make sure the water is fresh and unfrozen. Instead of metal bowls, use plastic bowls during the winter. When temperatures are low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to a metal bowl. As for pet grooming, if you normally have their fur clipped or shaved, keep the length longer during the winter, giving them a permanent warm coat. You can also buy them a winter jacket. If you bathe your pet at home, make sure he/she is 100% dry before stepping outside. Having blankets available to your pets and keeping out any window/door drafts, can help ensure that they are not cold inside the home.
Always remember, speak out if you see a pet left in the cold by politely letting the owner know you’re concerned for their safety. If it does not go well, make sure to document what you see and have proof to boost your case. Contact your local animal control agency for help as soon as you can and let them know the details, so they can help the animal.