Winter is a challenging time for most people. The snow, ice and wind can make going anywhere difficult, and having to bundle up to go anywhere isn’t great either. It limits what we can do, and while it looks pretty, most of us are pretty over it after a few days.
However, in addition to us, winter is also difficult for our pets. They can’t be outside playing in the yard all day like in the summer, and generally need to remain cooped up inside. In order to ensure your pet has the best winter possible, read on to learn about 6 tips to better take care of them during the cold winter months.
Give Them Ways to Stay Warm Outside
While you may want to keep your pet inside all day in the winter, most pets will still want to spend some time outside exploring and running around. If you try and take this away from them, some pets will act out. Instead of completely eliminating time outside, find ways to ensure your pet can stay warm outside.
There are several ways to do this. One of the best is to get a quality house or structure for the pet from a retailer like furry friends gear. This will ensure they have a safe, warm and dry place to relax, while still being outside. Outfitting your pet with booties or clothes can be another way to boost their warmth.
Pay Close Attention To Their Diet
Your pet’s diet during the winter is something you need to think about, as well. You may not always be able to keep feeding them the same amount in the winter as you do in the other seasons. The body of your pet might be working harder in the winter to keep them warm, so they may need more food as a result.
However, things can also go the other way. Many pets are less active during the winter, so this could offset the extra energy being expelled to keep them warm. Either way, be sure to keep tabs on how your pet looks, acts and how much food they are eating to judge whether to increase the intake, decrease it or keep it the same. The dangers of overfeeding a pet are real, so tread lightly.
Provide Them a Warm Place to Sleep and Relax
In the warmer months, most pets are comfortable curling up just about anywhere to lay down and have a nap. However, this may not always be the case in the winter. Hardwood floors can be cold, and spots near cracked windows can be as well. So be sure to create a dedicated warm and comfy spot where your pet can sleep.
This could be an actual bed, or even just a stack of blankets and pillows to make a spot comfortable. Ensure that the size of the bedding is large enough to comfortably fit the pet and allow for some movement, as well. Be sure to put this bed in a place that the pet already likes to relax, for best results.
Be Careful With Walks
Just because it is winter doesn't mean your pet won’t want to be active anymore. For example, if you have a dog, it will still want to go for walks. However, you will need to be careful here and alter how you walk your pets in the winter. Generally, winter walks should be shorter and should only be done during the parts of the day when it is warmest.
When you do on your walks, be sure to walk in areas that are generally clear or snow and ice. Our shoes protect us from this, but the paws of your pet could get cold and irritated as a result. Of course, you could also opt to get your pet some small boots to help, but it is still smart to keep winter walks shorter.
Be Careful of the Sources of Heat in Your Home
During the winter, it is normal for families to do all they can to stay warm. This often includes using heaters, turning up the radiators and other things as well. While we know not to touch these directly, as they are not, our pets might not know this.
This can lead to them getting a little too close to the source of the warm heat, and potentially burning themselves. So it is up to you to protect your pet from accidently trying to get on the stove when it’s on or trying to nestle up on a scalding hot radiator. Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t use these heat sources, but just do your part to block them off or make them inaccessible for your pet.
Avoid the Use of Potentially Harmful Chemicals
In the winter, many chemicals are used to make our lives easier. We will use road salt and deicers to make it easier to walk without slipping, as well as use antifreeze to prevent freezing radiators. However, these both contain chemicals that could harm your pet if ingested.
Antifreeze is potentially deadly and while we know not to consume it, the sweet taste could entice your pet to try it out, which could have dire consequences. On the other hand, many deicers contain ingredients that could be very harmful if ingested. Many dogs or cats may lick the residue off of their feet, which has the potential to make them sick. Look out for pet-friendly deicer, and keep antifreeze leaks or spills away from your pet.
In conclusion, we hope the tips outlined in this blog post have been able to help you learn a couple of great ways to make sure your pet has a fantastic and warm winter.