When the winter season arrives, you will be getting out all your sweaters and coats, turning up the heater, and getting cozy in front of the fire. However, it is important that you not forget about your pets! They can get too cold both inside and outside your home, but these tips can help keep them warm.
Put Them in Clothing
While your dogs and cats probably aren't fans of clothing the rest of the year, they become essential during the winter. Indoor and outdoor pets should wear sweaters and jackets when it gets too cold. You can also pet the clothing on them inside the house, such as when you leave the house for several hours during work and don't want your heater on too high. Also consider getting some warm booties for your dog so it can go potty outside without getting too cold. These are essential when dogs are walking on snow and ice.
Provide Warm Shelter
It is best that your pets come inside for warmth if it is snowing or below freezing outside. However, there may be times when your dogs and cats are outdoors, either because the weather is cold but not too bad, or you are out of the house and are unable to bring them in during the snow. Make sure they have access to a dry, warm, and protected shelter. It can be a kennel or dog house, but make sure it is insulated and doesn't create a draft. They should have protected from snow, rain, and cold winds. Also make sure it is nice and sturdy, as some winter storms get pretty harsh. Also keep it a few inches from the ground so the bottom floor doesn't get too cold.
Give Them Extra Food and Water
Dogs and cats need to have water available to them 24 hours a day, regardless of the temperature. If the water is kept outside, make sure it is kept in a container that will prevent it from freezing. Stainless steel is good for monitoring the temperature of the water. Feeding your pets a little extra food with more nutrients during the winter is also a good idea, as this can help warm up their bodies.
Know the Warning Signs of Frostbite and Hypothermia
These are the two most dangerous conditions your pets might face if they are left out for too long in cold temperatures. You should become familiar with the warning signs so you know when to bring them to the vet for immediate treatment. With frostbite, one of the most dangerous situations is wind chill. This is why their shelter is so important. Some signs of frostbite include discolouration of their skin, pain or swelling, and blisters or ulcers on their skin. If the pet's body temperature drops too low, they might have hypothermia. Common signs of this condition include pale gums, dilated pupils, muscle stiffness, lethargy, and shivering.