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13 Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Happy this Winter

Posted January 11th, 2013 by admin

There are many people who feel that because an animal has a fur coat, they are perfectly suited to be outside during the winter. However, this is not the case; for animals who are accustomed to being indoors, wintertime can be a difficult time of year to decide to “teach Fido about outdoor fun.” In fact, putting your indoor pet outdoors during the winter can actually result in your pet becoming sick. Of course, there are some breeds of dogs, such as longhaired dogs like German shepherds and Huskies, which do better in cold weather.
If you want to keep your pet(s) happy and health during the winter season, then you will want to take every possible precaution. If you are not sure where to start, then consider these 13 actions to take for keeping your pet (s) warm and healthy during the colder months.
1. Just because your pets may be inside does not guarantee good health. Like young children, pets need to be protected from dangerous elements such as heaters or a fire. Be sure to note how close your pet is to these items-especially a fireplace where sparks can be a hazard. Also, you don’t want their tails to encounter heating coils, hot coals or other hot surfaces.
2. Be sure that any freestanding heaters are secured or placed in such a way that pets cannot knock them over, as this will be dangerous for all those involved.
3. Be sure that before turning on a gas furnace, to check for any carbon monoxide leaking. You may wish to get a carbon monoxide monitor for your home, if you do not yet have one.
4. Make sure that your pet has a comfortable bed in a warm room.
5. When you do take your pet outside, remember that if you are cold, chances are, your pet is as well.
6. Like people, pets that are extremely young or on in years are more susceptible to cold weather; in particular, older animals that have arthritis may find the cold weather to be especially painful.
7. Consider your outdoor surroundings. Should you live near a pond or lake, be sure to keep your pet on a leash when you go out walking as you do not want your pet to walk out on to thin ice.
8. Always check under the hood of your vehicle, or rap on the hood of the vehicle, before starting the engine. Just because you keep your pets indoors during the winter does not mean all animals are so fortunate. When it is cold, it is common for animals to seek shelter wherever they can find it, making a vehicle’s engine fair game.
9. Check your pet’s feet when returning inside. It is easy for them to pick up ice, salt, and other elements that can be painful. Wiping their feet with a damp warm damp washcloth will keep them from getting chapped or becoming raw.
10. If your pet will allow you, dress them in sweaters and booties as these items will keep them warm and lower the risk of chapped paws. Keep in mind that dogs lose the majority of their body heat through their feet, ears and respiratory tract.
11. Thoroughly wipe off your dog’s legs and stomach when they come in from sleet, snow or ice as it is always possible that he/she has walked through spilled anti-free or other commonly used winterizing chemicals. For personal usage, you may want to choose products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
12. If you have a dog that is typically shaved, then leave their coat a bit longer during the winter months as this adds extra warmth. Consider getting a sweater for shorthaired breeds.
13. If your pet enjoys riding in the car with you, be sure that you never leave your pet in the vehicle unattended, as this is the equivalent of leaving them in the refrigerator!
Wintertime is a wonderful time of year and offers many opportunities for outdoor pleasures. However, before putting a leash on your furry four legged friend and exploring the cold outdoors, be sure that you have taken these basic precautions to keep your pet happy and healthy –whether inside or out. If you have any additional concerns regarding winter and your pet, then be sure to contact us here at A-1 Pet Care. We are happy to help!

2 Responses to “13 Ways to Keep Your Pet Healthy and Happy this Winter”

  1. wesley E batton

    Thank you for the very insightful post. I’ve definitely learned a thing or two and will be sure to bundle up my babies very well next time we go outside!

  2. Carol C Wiseman

    Interesting articles and love the images

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