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Pet Winter Safety

Pet Winter Safety
06/01/2017 Parkvets

Pet Winter Safety

Tips to help keep your pet healthy during the cold weather

Winter has arrived. During the coldest time of the year, it is important to remember that the cold can affect your pet just as much as it affects you.

 

Your autumn jacket not cutting it anymore in these temperatures? While you’re out shopping for your new winter attire, consider picking something up for your furry friend as well. Your dog’s fur may not be enough to keep them warm on a frigid winter day. If you have a short haired dog, it is often best to get them a coat for winter walks. Or, if you are planning to smarten up your pup with a visit to the groomer, make sure they are just getting a trim. Dogs need their hair to keep warm during cold months.

Have you ever thought, ‘It’s freezing! I’m really surprised my dog/cat wants to go outside”? Well, they might want to go outside, but it doesn’t mean they are happy once they are out there! If you tend to leave your pet outside during the day or night, consider bringing them indoors this winter. Your pet’s fur can only protect them against the elements up to a point. If you do keep your pet outside, ensure they have a sturdy and dry shelter where they can escape from the elements.

 

Cats like warm, snuggly places and if they are not kept inside during harsh weather, they can get themselves into a bit of mischief. Cats are known for crawling into hot engines to warm up and slipping into unknown sheds and garages to escape unwelcome weather. Make sure your cat is safe in the winter and keep them inside on extremely bad days. If you do let them out, make sure they have been microchipped, so you are able to track them if they don’t return as expected. Remember to knock on the hood of your car before you start it in case kitty is having a nap where they shouldn’t be. (Microchipping is also a legal requirement in the UK.)

You and your dog have to brave the elements all year round for your dog to answer that call of nature and freezing temperatures can make it an unenjoyable experience. Not only can the pavements and paths be too cold for your dog’s paws, but the salt can irritate their pads. Consider getting your dog some booties for the winter season if you know that your neighbourhood puts down grit or salt to melt the ice. If you don’t want to put booties on your dog, make sure you wash your dog’s paws after walking around outside to remove any lingering salt crystals or rub Vaseline on their paws to help protect them from the salt or other chemicals on the ground. Make sure you pay attention to your dog’s behaviour. If they don’t want to walk on the pavement or try to turn for home, it might be too cold for them.

We all love coming home to a cosy warm house after being out on a cold winter’s day, but have you ever noticed how dry your skin gets when you have had the heating on? Your pet’s skin can have the same reaction. If you notice your pet scratching themselves more or their skin starting to flake, consider getting a humidifier for your home. It won’t just help your pet, your skin will feel better too!

Winter can be lots of fun for you and your pets, whether you are playing in the snow with your dog or inside cuddling your cat. It is important to remember that any extreme weather will have an effect on you and your pet. Being prepared and fully informed is always the best way to be!

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