The signs are unmistakable. Temperatures are hitting the lower (single) digits, days are getting darker, leaves are turning from green to red and orange and wind chills are leaving faces feeling like they were kissed by sandpaper.
That, my dear friend, is the blast of the trumpet, announcing the frigid winter season that will make your bones hurt and make walking and driving a real battle. And, no matter how much we hate this treacherous season, the earth will continue her orbit and tit on her axis, bringing winter on its way.
We might get a bit more comfortable with some extra (if not endless) layers of clothing, but what about our dogs and cats, who are pretty vulnerable during the cold season?
Of course, they have the warmness of their coats, but as a responsible pet owner, you cannot bypass the fact that much exposure to winter’s dry and cold air can lead to flaking skin, chapped paws and dry respiratory tracts.
So, if you want to keep your pet safe from the cold, here are some tips to follow.
#1. Know Your Pet’s Limits
Studies show that some pets are more susceptible to the cold than others. For instance, joint stiffness during winter can be more prominent for older, smaller or short-coated pets. If you are a dog owner, you need to remember that your pooch might be more vulnerable to illnesses like hypothermia and frostbite.
Knowing the weaknesses of your pets will help you to deal with winter better and keep your pet safe and healthy.
#2. Bathe Your Pets Less Frequently
When temperatures are way below freezing, it makes you want to skip showering, isn’t it? Well, studies say that not showering till the end of the season will lead to exacerbation of acne, skin infections and even worse possible health issues.
But, when it comes to pets, experts recommend bathing them as little as possible during the cold season. You see, bathing them will remove the protective oils from the skin and increase the chances of developing flaky skin.
What Do I Do if My Pet Starts Getting Stinky?
Request a recommendation from your veterinarian for a moisturizing shampoo and crème.
What if I Have a Long-Haired Pet?
Simply trimming your pet can help to reduce adhering to ice balls and outside pollutants that can dry up his skin. Oh and don’t forget the hair between their toes.
#3. Let Your Pets Stay Indoors if Possible
To avoid ending up with icicle digits, don’t we always yearn to stay indoors, burrowed under cozy, snuggly blankets?
One way to make sure your pet stays far away from the bitter dangers of winter is to never leave them outdoors as they can freeze, become disoriented and even injured in the bitter cold season.
Keep them away from drafty space, do not let them sleep on the floor and keep them cozy with warm blankets.
#4. Extra Treat
Now is the time to pamper your pet with some extra goodies.
To stay warm and to keep up their energy levels, your pet would need some extra calories. So go ahead and toss some “extras” outside of your dog’s meals and when New Year is around the corner, you can both go on a diet.
#5. Always Dry Your Pet’s Paws
Right after every walk, it is critical to check, wash and dry your pet’s feet to remove ice, salt and chemicals. You can use some warm water and cotton wool or use a washcloth or wet wipe.
Additional tip: Before going for a winter walk, you can massage the paw pads of your pet with some coconut oil or other paw protectants.
If you want some more specific information about winter care for your pet, tell us more about your pet in the comment section below!