It’s one of the busiest – and coldest – times of year, for you and your pet! Here are a few things you should do to keep your pet safe and healthy over the cold winter months.
The best thing you can do for your cat is to keep him or her inside when the mercury plummets. For dogs, don’t keep them outside long while they’re doing their business, especially when it’s really cold and snowy. And while it’s a tricky balance to keep them inside and fit at the same time, be sure that your pet is still getting some physically activity in, by making walks a little shorter, or making playtime a bigger event inside.
When the temperature dips, watch for signs of frostbite. It’s seen most often on pets’ ears, the tail and footpads, and watch for pale, glossy or white skin. By limiting the amount of time your pet spends outside, the easier frostbite can be prevented.
Nutrition and water are also extremely important, because a well-nourished pet is better equipped to cope with the harsh weather. Make sure to always have fresh water available for them, but avoid steel or aluminum dishes.
Antifreeze is something many people have sitting outside now – and it also has a sweet taste that cats love. However, antifreeze is toxic enough to cause serious illness and even death. Make sure your car isn’t leaking any fluids and keep containers safely locked away from pets and children!
Make sure your pets have a comfortable and cozy place to sleep that is free from cold drafts.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if you notice changes in your pet’s behavior, such as energy-level or appetite-decrease, signs of frostbite or if they’ve eaten something they shouldn’t have.
This seems obvious, but we say it time and time again: never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold (or hot!) weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing the animal to freeze to death. Also, check under your vehicle before starting it, as it can seem like a warm place for an animal to hide, but turning the car on will seriously injure – or kill- the animal.
Remember to shovel out cat shelters when you’re shoveling your own driveway. Cats in shelters can get snowed in, so keep entrances clear and shovel an exit for cats who may be taking refuge under bushes, porches, or other hiding spots.
When your pet does come in from the snow, wipe off any road grit and any other substances that may stick to his paws or fur. Especially with all the salt that gets put down, pets love to lick it off, and that can cause serious infections.
Lastly, with family get-togethers and parties, make sure no one is feeding your pet dangerous table scraps like bird bones, gravy, onions, garlic or other bulb veggies, herbs and spices, stuffing, chocolate, fruit cake, grapes or raisins, dairy products, desserts or sweets.
With so many people coming and going, make a comfortable, safe space, away from all the entrances so that they don’t sneak out. Be sure there’s food and water, plus, toys, of course for their entertainment.
Source: Bide Awhile