Pet Owner Preparation: Winter is Coming
As the most wonderful time of the year rapidly approaches, we can anticipate chilled weather, breaking out winter jackets, and hot delicious drinks. Similar to how our lifestyles change with the weather, our pet's needs change as well. We cannot control the weather; however, we can accommodate our pets' wintertime needs.
How to Keep Pets Warm in the Winter
Different pets have different needs. Pets that may benefit from wearing a coat or other barriers from the cold while outdoors include:
- Short-haired dogs and cats
- Elderly pets
- Thin or underweight pets
- Young pets
If your pet enjoys being outside for longer than a couple of minutes, protective boots and a sweater will help keep them comfortable. Although most pets have fur, they can still get frostbite if not adequately prepared for the harsh weather.
Protecting Pet Paws During Winter
Harsh chemicals used to combat ice can wreak havoc on our pets' paws. If your pet has a habit of licking their paws, the antifreeze and deicers can cause them to fall ill if ingested. To best protect your pet from this, you can put protective boots on your pet or rinse your pet's feet thoroughly with lukewarm water when coming in from outside.
Pets with a lot of fur on their paws or in-between their toes may get snow and ice stuck in their paw fur. Always ensure snow and ice are removed so your pet can stay warm and happy.
How to Encourage Your Dog to Go Potty Outside With Snow
Many dogs have trouble going potty outside when snow is on the ground, and can you blame them? Luckily, there are some ways you can make this experience more favorable for them!
Shovel out a patch of grass
Select an area of your yard to shovel, it is also helpful to shovel a walkway for your pet to easily access the designated potty area. This ensures your pet does not have to wade through deep snow to go to the bathroom.
Dress to impress
Putting a sweater or coat and boots on your pet before going outside can help your pet feel more comfortable when venturing into the cold weather.
Go for a walk
If your dog is not having success going in your backyard or designated potty spot, it may be beneficial to go for a walk. Make sure you and your dog are dressed in warm gear!
How to Help Stray Animals During Winter
Providing shelter, food, and water helps animals without homes survive the wintertime. Old storage boxes or containers can be reused and made into DIY cat houses!
To do this, you'll want to make a small opening for cats to enter and exit while still providing shelter from the elements. Straw is an excellent insulator, and old blankets or towels are a great way to provide extra warmth and cushioning.