5 Ways to Protect Your Pet in Colder Weather
With the above normal temperatures we’ve been experiencing this fall, it is easy to forget that soon cold weather will come—bringing with it snow and ice. As we prepare our homes and ourselves for Old Man Winter, take time to prepare your four-legged companion as well.
Here are 5 ways to protect your pet in colder weather:
Get Out the Petroleum Jelly
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), massaging petroleum jelly into paw pads before going outside helps protect from salt and chemical agents. Better yet, throw on some booties: “Booties provide even more coverage and can also prevent sand and salt from getting lodged between bare toes and causing irritation,” suggests the site.
Throw on a Sweater
Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary and if your four-legged friend seems bothered by the cold (especially true of they have a short coat), consider putting on a sweater before your daily walk. “Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside,” says American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF). “Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder.” There are some really cute eco-friendly options from OliveGreenDog.com.
Wipe Down Your Dog
Even if your dog is wrapped up in a sweater and booties, as soon as you come inside from your walk, thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs, stomach and paws. “Salt, antifreeze or other chemicals could hurt your dog if she ingests them while licking her paws,” says PetFinder.com.
Increase Food & Water
“Pets who spend a lot time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy,” writes the Humane Society. In addition, lower humidity levels in your home could cause your pet to lose more fluids so be sure to routinely check your pet’s water supply. Also, consider switching to plastic food and water bowls. “When the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal,” says the Humane Society.
Adjust Sleeping Arrangements
Pets will often change their sleeping location when temperatures rise or fall. Make sure your pet has a cozy bed with a warm blanket that is away from any drafty areas such as windows and doors. Harry Barker has some great eco-friendly options.
Talk to us: What changes do you make to your pet care when winter weather arrives?
image courtesy of flickr CC/Rodrigo Paredes