Winter Tips for Pets – Dog & Cats Fighting the Winter Temperatures
Old man winter has started to make his approach & we need to prepare not only ourselves but our pets as well. Our pets depend on us to look out for them in bad weather. It’s our duty as pet owners to keep them protected from the elements!
Pet should remain in doors and be supplied with adequate shelter if they are outside. Many people provide shelters for stray & feral cats in the winter months. These are easy to make for under $20 out of Styrofoam & plastic storage bins as in the photo attached. Dogs need to be provided wind proof covered shelter as well if they are to remain outdoors. All outdoor enclosures need to be water & wind proof to supply protection from the wind, ice, snow & freezing temperatures. Enclosures can be lined with hay or straw that needs to be changed out if possible.
Provide food & water to outdoor animals as well. Silicone bowls work well. Frozen water or food pops right out for easy cleaning. Heated water bowls are also available to keep water accessible & from freezing.
Although pets have fur they still should not be outside when the temperatures drop below freezing. Pet should not be outside more than 10-15 minutes in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperatures fall below Zero they should be out long enough to eliminate and back indoors right away.
Just like humans, pets can get frostbite if not protected & outside too long. Dogs noses & paw pads are need of protection when out in cold temperatures as well. Snow, ice & salt are very hard on a dogs pads. Imagine walking barefoot on those! They have winter boots available for dogs to wear. Also use pet safe salt! Normal rock salt contains chemicals which when ingested can poison pets. Salt often gets lodged in pads or coated on the dogs pads. They lick their pads clean and ingest the chemicals. So be sure wash & clean your dogs pads when coming inside after a walk. Nose balm or butter also protects them from getting a chapped & dry nose.