Winter is a difficult time for us. Temperatures drop, and it can become unbearable to be outside for more than a couple of minutes at a time. This can make something as simple as going to the grocery store an ordeal that can take much longer than it would in the summer.
However, not only is winter hard for us, the same goes for our pets. Many of them like the warmth and sun of the summer much more than the snow and harsh temperatures of the winter. As a result, you need to do all you can to care for your pets correctly in the winter. This article is going to go over a few tips to help you do so.
Keep Them Inside for the Most Part
Winters in many parts of the country can get excruciatingly cold. You want to keep your pet protected from the elements as best as possible. In some cases, leaving your pet outside too long in the cold could be harmful. You want to keep them inside and in the warm as much as possible during winter.
If your pet truly wants to be outdoors in the winter, only allow them out for short amounts of time. Also, be sure that they have a capable outdoor structure or house to relax/stay in for warmth. Be sure to check out a blog post by Furry Friends Gear to learn more about some of the available options.
Be Mindful of Heat Sources
During the frigid temperatures of winter, pets will look for any place they can go to get a little bit of extra warmth. While this is often their bed, it can also be places like your radiator or furnace. While this might not seem like a problem, it certainly can be if the source is hot to the touch.
Your pet might not be aware of how hot something can get, and could seriously hurt or burn themselves by getting too close or staying too long. As a result, you need to help them out and ensure that these dangerous hot areas are blocked off completely, so they cannot access them. Also, be careful when it comes to leaving your stove on, as some pets may make the poor decision to attempt to curl up on it.
Take Care of Their Paws
Many parts of your pets body are more susceptible to the cold than others. This can include their tails, their ears and especially their paws. A simple walk in the cold can hurt your pets paws, make them incredibly uncomfortable and potentially even lead to frostbite. In order to combat this, consider getting some dog boots for your pet.
While they can look funny, these dog boots can be very beneficial for keeping your pets paws warm and comfortable. These boots can also protect your dog from interacting with harmful chemicals such as deicers that are common on roads and sidewalks in the winter. Of course, be sure to know how to choose the right dog boots. They need to fit properly, the soles should be relatively flexible, and they should be made from a waterproof material.
Consider Adjusting Their Food Intake
Adjusting the food intake of your pet is another nice consideration to make in the winter. In the warmer months, most pets are going for longer walks and spending much more time playing in the yard. But in the winter, many don’t even like to go outside to go to the bathroom, let alone play or go for long walks.
Because they are less active, they are using less energy and thus, require less food. If you leave their food the same, you might be overfeeding them without even knowing. There are several risks of overfeeding your pet, that can range from obesity to diabetes and several others. If you find your pet has been less active than usual in the winter, consider reducing how much food you give them by a little. Of course, make sure they are still getting an ample amount and aren’t going hungry.
Provide Them Warm and Cozy Places to Sleep and Relax
When it’s cold out, you don’t want your pet to have to lie down on the floor. Hardwood or tile floors can get incredibly cold in the winter, and aren’t a good spot for your furry friend to get comfortable. If you don’t want them to lay on your couch, chairs or bed, you need to provide them with nice places to sleep and lay down.
This could be a dog bed or a couple of blankets formed into a little bed. Either way, your pet will certainly appreciate the fact that they have a nice and warm place to cuddle up in and sleep at night. If you know a spot where your pet likes to curl up and sleep, do your best to put their bed (makeshift or otherwise) near there, as well.
Be Tactical About When to Go For Walks
While you might not love the idea of taking your dog for a walk in the winter, it is still important. However, you need to be careful about when you go for these walks. You generally want to go for a walk while it is sunny out and the day is at its warmest. It may still be cold, but not as cold as it would have been if you waited until it’s dark to go for the walk.
Also, while long walks with your dog can be a lot of fun in the summer, they should generally be kept very brief in the winter. This will limit the exposure that you and your pet both have to the cold weather.
In conclusion, we hope these tips have proven effective when it comes to taking care of your pet in the winters.