Many people assume that because pets have fur or hair that they can adapt and handle cold weather; however, this is not true. Even though pets have fur, it does protect them fully from the cold weather. There are also many other hazards that come along with cold weather. For example, ice covered sidewalks, chemicals and vehicles are some of the reasons why cold weather can be dangerous.
But there are also precautions that you can take as a pet owner to ensure that your pet is safe when cold weather is present. Here is a list of tips and precautions that you can take to ensure that your pet is safe and away from harm.
- Keep Your Pet Indoors
If you find it too cold outside, your pet most likely feels the same way. Therefore, it is a good idea to keep your pet indoors when there is cold weather. Only take your pet outside for walks and/or exercise, but keep them indoors for the rest of the time. This is because cold weather can put your pet at risk of developing frostbite and hypothermia. However, if you have to leave your pet outside make sure that they have the proper shelter and resources to make sure that they are comfortable and safe.
- Avoid Anti-Freeze
Antifreeze can spill from the car’s engine onto the driveway or on the garage floor, and many people forget to clean up the spills. However, if your pet licks up the antifreeze solution off the ground, this can result into a serious situation. This is because the main ingredient in antifreeze is ethylene glycol which is an extremely toxic chemical towards animals.
If it is consumed, it can result in a damaged nervous system and kidney damage. Additionally, animals tend to like that taste of antifreeze because of its sweet flavor. Therefore, it is important to make sure to you clean up the antifreeze if it spills to ensure that your pet is safe and healthy.
- Protect Their Paws
Salt and other chemicals that are used to melt ice and snow on the roads and sidewalks are something that you want to be aware of if your pet has been outside. This is because the chemicals can cause severe burns to your pet’s footpads.
Therefore, it is always important to wipe down their footpads as soon as you come home from outside with your pet. In addition, you can take further precautions with your pet; by purchasing booties that you pet can wear when they are outside.
- Be aware of sharp objects
Snow and salt on the ground can easily conceal objects like glass, sharp rocks, garbage and needs that could harm your pet. Your pet can step or ingest these items which can harm your pet internally and externally. Therefore, it is important to scope out the area before you let your pet run around freely.
- Sweater for Pets
Small and/or short haired pets can really benefit from a sweater when the weather is cold. This will allow their body temperatures to stay normal and warm when there is cold weather outside. However, you would need to make sure that there is nothing dangling that could become a choking hazard for your pet. You can get sweaters for your pet at local pet stores or even online.
- Don’t Leave Your Pet Inside a Vehicle
The rule about not leaving your pet in the car alone in the summer still applies during all seasons of the year. This is because when there is cold weather the cold air will be trapped inside which can make the vehicle into an icebox. This can cause your pet to have its body temperatures drop and can suffer from frostbite and hypothermia.
- Arthritic Animals
Just like humans, animals that have arthritis can experience worse symptoms when the weather is cold and wet. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you keep your pet extra warm when the weather is cold by taking shorter walks in the outdoors, and providing soft and warm bedding. In addition, you can provide the necessary pet meds to keep your pet comfortable and pain-free from arthritis.
- Trim Excess Hair
It is important to trim the excess hair between your pet’s toes. If you are uncomfortable doing it yourself, let a professional groomer take care of this task. This is because ice can form on top of the hair causing discomfort when walking; therefore, by cutting the hair this will prevent ice pellets from developing.
- Keep a Lookout for Cats
If you keep your cat outside there is a chance that it might be hiding underneath your vehicle. This is because cats that are outdoors commonly find warmth and safety under recently running automobiles. Therefore, it is important to check underneath you car just in case there is a cat or other wildlife curled up under your vehicle.
- Report Abandoned Pets
If you suspect that an animal is left abandoned outside or is left outside for too long without the proper care. Make sure you report the case to authorities.