Cold Weather Safety Tips for Pet Owners
Winter is upon us, and it’s time to buckle down and make sure that you and your pet are prepared for potentially extreme weather conditions. January and February are often the coldest months out of the year, and if you’re familiar with the Midwest, you know how dramatically the weather can change. Below are some helpful tips for protecting your four-legged family member against frigid temperatures.
Invest in Winter-Wear
It might seem silly, but if your dog is going to be spending any time outside, especially for walks, you should provide them with protective footwear (usually called ‘booties’) and a jacket (particularly if your dog has a short or fine coat). Despite their fur coats, many cats and dogs can be susceptible to frost bite if they are left outdoors too long and lack adequate shelter from the cold. A winter-appropriate pet shelter will need to be elevated several inches off the ground and be filled with straw to prevent moisture accumulation, and include plenty of soft, warm bedding. However, we do not recommend leaving your pet outside in the cold under any circumstances.
Pet-Friendly Ice Removal
Regular sidewalk salt can not only be painful for your pet when stepped on; it can burn their paw pads as well. Licking at the salt can also burn your pet’s mouth, and if they manage to ingest enough, it can make them sick. For your own property, we suggest deicing with a pet-friendly product, which you can find at your local pet store. If you take your dog for a walk, check their fur and paws before bringing them back inside, and brush away any chunks of salt that you find. We also suggest washing off their paws to remove residual salt.
Keeping Your Pet Warm Indoors
In the event that your heater malfunctions and leaves your home a bit chilly, consider a pet-safe heating pad or electric blanket to keep your companion cozy. Be sure to research the safest products, and let us know if you have any questions! You can reach us at (812) 645-0715.
Follow us on Facebook for more winter pet safety tips!