Winter is fast approaching and colder weather is headed our way (for most of us, anyway). That means we’ll have to start wearing warmer jackets, scarves, hats and gloves. While it’s intuitive to bundle up before heading out into the cold, we might forget that our furry four-leggers need to keep warm as well!
Though our pets already wear fur coats, they may need a little extra warmth, depending on the temperature and the thickness of their coat. During the cold winter months, pets should be living indoors or in a heated enclosure. Puppies, kittens and elderly pets are especially sensitive to the cold.
Coats: When taking your dog (or cat!) outside on a cold day, be sure to monitor them for shivering. Pets with short coats may need to wear a coat or sweater while those with extra thick coats such as Huskies and Akitas will be plenty warm on cold days without an extra layer.
Cars: Outdoor kitties often find warmth under car hoods near the warm engine. If there are cats in your home or neighborhood, be sure to bang on your hood or honk the horn before starting the engine to scare away any cats.
It’s common knowledge that pets should not be left in cars during the summer, but it is also dangerous for pets to be left in cars in colder weather since the inside of a car can drop to freezing temperatures.
Seniors: Keep in mind that senior pets need extra special care when heading out into the cold. As our pets age, their bodies become more sensitive to extreme hot and cold temperatures, so it’s especially important to bundle up.
Check your paws: Be sure to wipe your pet’s paws, legs, and belly when coming in from a romp out in the cold to remove any salt, antifreeze or other chemicals. You might also consider booties for your dog in particularly cold areas because ice can form between the pads and cause frostbite.
Watch your appetite: As the weather changes, so can your pet’s dietary needs. Pets that spend extra time running around in the cold will be burning more calories whereas pets spending less time outside due to weather will be burning fewer calories. Consider adjusting your pet’s meals accordingly.
We wish you happy holidays and a safe winter!