Tips to Keep Fido and Friends Warm in Winter
(KLIX) – When the temperature drops – like it has recently – turn up the attention you give your pets. It’s up to you to keep your animals safe and warm during the cold months.
Just because you’re warm with your gloves and jackets doesn’t mean Fido is warm. He could be freezing his nose off – maybe not literally, but close to it.
Did you know, for instance, that according to the Humane Society of the United States exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps?
So what should you do? For one thing, limit your pets’ time outdoors.
"Under no circumstances should pet cats be left outdoors, even if they roam outside during other seasons,” reads information from the Humane Society. “Dogs are happiest when taken out frequently for walks and exercise, but kept inside the rest of the time. Don't leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops."
The Humane Society offers several tips on how to keep your animals safe and warm in winter:
- If your dog is outdoors for much of the day make sure it has a dry, draft-free shelter large enough to allow it to move around comfortably but small enough to hold in body heat. Ideally, the floor of the shelter should be raised off the ground a few inches and covered with cedar shavings or straw. A good way to cover the entry is with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
- When animals are outdoors they need more food to help keep them warm. Check water dishes often to make sure water is fresh and not frozen. Plastic food and water bowls are best, because just like the kid who gets his tongue stuck on a flagpole a dog or cat can get their tongue stuck on a frozen food or water dish.
- Rock salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate paws and can be dangerous to your pets’ health if ingested. It is suggested you wipe paws with a damp towel before your pet has a chance to lick them, and wipe up all antifreeze spills and other chemicals. Store them in places where pets and children will not get to them. If your dog ingests rock salt or harmful chemicals, call a veterinarian immediately.
WebMD says pet owners should never leave their animals inside of a locked car. It’s a dangerous thing to do in months when the temperatures rise, but can also be dangerous in cold weather.
Another organization friendly to animals, Chewy.com, says pet owners shouldn’t forget to cover their furry friends with blankets or even wearable sweaters. Also, “make sure to keep pets away from space heaters to prevent serious burns or even house fires.”