Winter Pet Care Tips for Your Dog
Winter has arrived with full force. A large part of the country has already experienced severe snow and the temperatures will get below freezing in much of the country.
Brrr...Your dog and cat know it is winter as well.
They have their winter coat on and they also react to the shorter daylight the same as us. Some dog owners leave their pet out for extended periods of time thinking that animals are adapted to living outdoors. That is not the case with domesticated pets. They are used to living indoors just as much as we are. Here are a few tips from Fetch! Pet Care to help you care for your pets during this blustery season:
1. Bring Your Pet to the VetA good idea for winter care for your pet would be to take them to your veterinarian immediately. Make sure your pet is in good health. Older dogs, like older humans, tend to get sick more easily in the winter. If your pet has arthritis, diabetes or heart problems make sure he gets a good check up.
2. Keep an Eye OutIf it is cold outside make sure you watch your dog and cat carefully. A good idea would be to stay outside with them. When you get cold then chances are your dog is cold too. That would be a good sign to take him back inside.
3. Beware of the HazardsWatch for hazards in the winter. If you live near ponds or lakes keep your dog away from the ice. You never know what the thickness of the ice is. If your dog would happen to fall in he would have a hard time getting out. If you are near water, stay outside with him. If you live near woods or a forest the snow can cover up hazards the dog can't see, like sticks or rocks or trash. All these hazards can really hurt those cold, sensitive paws.
4. Know What's Poison For Your PetKeep an eye out for antifreeze. Dogs like the smell and will drink it if they find some. Antifreeze is extremely poisonous and will kill your dog. If you need to change your antifreeze make sure your clean up any spills. Dogs that don't have access to clean unfrozen water will drink whatever they can find. This includes gutter water which can contain antifreeze, oil, or other household hazardous waste.
5. Provide Warm ShelterIf your dog needs to be kept outdoors for any length of time, make sure they have a nice warm shelter. A nice sturdy doghouse would be a good idea. Make sure they have a nice warm dog bed and fresh unfrozen water. That is very important. Your dog can get dehydrated in the winter. Please check his water bowl before going off to work or shopping. If you put a wrapped hot water bottle in their shelter it will keep it cozy. Or better yet, keep your pet inside and hire a professional dog walker to take them out for a potty break.
6. Keep the Pads CleanRock salt can be very hard on your dogs pads. When they come in the house make sure that you wipe off their pads with a warm cloth. This is important as they may try and lick their paws and they may become very ill.
7. Be Gentle with Elderly PetsBe particularly gentle with older, elderly dogs. Their arthritis can get worse in the winter. Stay close with them when they are going down stairs as they may slip and fall. They may be a bit more awkward and uneasy when they are outside. In the winter they may need help getting up on their favorite couch or chair. Make sure they have a nice cozy bed. A heated dog bed would be a great idea. You may have trouble getting them out of bed in the morning (we all know how that feels).
8. Cats Love Warm EnginesIf you have a cat that goes outside be careful with starting your vehicle as cats like to curl up in warm engines. A good thing to do is bang on the hood of your vehicle so any cats hidden there will jump out. If a cat is on your engine and you start it, the cat will be injured or killed.
9. Paw Booties are a Nice TouchIt's not just dress up time - a warm sweater on your furry companion can go a long way in keeping your pet nice and toasty. Little paw booties will also help keep their little paws warm.