You’ve probably already winterized your home, car, garden and pulled out your winter clothes but don’t forget to winterize your pet too!
For your dogs when out for a walk:
- Keep them dry to avoid hypothermia when wet and cold chances increase.
- Let them wear winter jackets with a warm inner layer and a waterproof outer layer.
- Provide waterproof boots with a warm inner layer – very cold surfaces burn their paws, as does salt that’s sprinkled on icy sidewalks and roads.
- Consider pet-formulated nose chapsticks that can protect the delicate moist noses of your pooches from cold and windy weather.
- Make certain to always dry off your dogs after a nice winter walk outside.
For your cats:
- Even indoor cat might need a light sweater to keep them warm from drafts, especially if they received a new shorter hairdo for the Holiday Season family photo!
- If cats go outside please be mindful of severe cold weather and snow storms. Avoid letting cats out during these times. There are so many dangers out there this time of year with plow trucks, slippery roads for cars, hungry wild animals, broken power lines, and hypothermia … to name a few.
- Make sure when your cats come inside the home to dry them off properly. Inspect their paws and ears for frost bite, chapped nose, runny eyes or nose and for any signs of weight loss that might be caused by an upper respiratory infection.
- Allow fresh air into the home from time to time. Fresh air is important to our health and for the health of our pets too!
- Keep cages far away from cold drafts. This especially important for cages on the floor where you may not feel the draft but pets do.
- Clean cages more often to avoid mold and provide extra bedding for warmth.
Author Amy Shannon Leclair is President & CEO of Loving Paws & House Sitting. Amy worked as a Patient Care Coordinator (PCC) in the biggest Canadian animal hospital from September 2000 to December 2006 after obtaining an honours diploma in Animal Health Sciences. Amy founded Loving Paws & House Sitting to provide personalized and loving care to pets including medical support, assistance and rehabilitative care to pets when they need special care during an illness or after hospitalization. They also visit the homes of clients when they are away for long periods of time, offering extended care.