When the weather turns colder, it’s easy to look at the furry friends in our life with a little envy. They’re covered with beautiful thick fur that protects them from the biting air and paw pads that handle the cold a lot better than our bare feet do. But just because our pets are built to handle the weather a little better than us doesn’t mean that winter doesn’t have its dangers for our furry family members. That’s why finding ways to make winter safer for your pets so important.
Be Aware of Winter Illnesses and Injuries
Pets are susceptible to winter ailments like frostbite and hypothermia just like humans, and being aware of their symptoms is a simple way to keep our pets safer this winter. If you notice that your pets are shivering and experiencing more listlessness than normal, this may be a sign they are experiencing hypothermia. Hard places in the skin along the extremities, blisters, or a red or swollen nose may be a sign of frostbite.
If you notice these symptoms, you should get your pets into warmth and safety, wrapping them in warm blankets. If your pets have frostbite, put warm water on the areas but avoid massaging the areas or feeding them antibiotics or pain killers. Then, take your pet to the veterinarian’s office.
As we said, pets are built to handle the cold weather, but even the fluffiest cats and dogs have their limits. As a pet owner, you should try to keep your pets inside as much as possible, especially if they’re cats. However, if your pets still need to stay outside for extended periods, you should supply a winter pet shelter.
When you’re making a pet shelter that’s winter-proof, you can’t only focus on decoration. A good weather shelter is insulated and waterproof to avoid both hypothermia and frostbite, especially when it starts snowing. It should also be equipped with warm bedding. In some cases, a heat source like a heated blanket or heat lamp may be necessary. When your house is sturdy, then you can focus on decorating the house.
Winter Hike Safety
If you’re an outdoorsman or woman, you know that winter doesn’t mean that you stay inside. And if you love outdoor activities and your pets, you may want to bring them along for the fun. If you take your dog on a wintery hike, you will want to take extra precautions.
Bring snacks and water to help your dog keep its strength up and prevent dehydration. If it’s snowy, you will also want to bring protection for your dog’s paws. They make small boots that fit over your dog’s feet to keep them warm. However, you’re going on a longer hike, periodically check your dog’s paws for any ice that’s formed through the sweat on your dog’s paws.