After decades, polar vortex and intense cold wave has once again hit North America. The temperature has reached unbearable severity. Most households will spend the time waiting in their cozy heated homes until the sun comes in sight. But can you say the same about pets? They are different from us and perceive weather changes differently. Thus, pet winter tips become that much more crucial.
Unless you are living in hot states, you must take appropriate steps to ensure your pets are ready to brace the cold chill of winter. Barring some winter-friendly breeds, most pets consider bone-chilling winter as their worst nightmare. With just a thin fur for protection, pets don’t have much guard against nature’s fury. So, for the responsible owner, here are 5 things to do to keep your pet happy in winter.
1. Know Your Pet – Study about the breed of your pet thoroughly. Know their physical features and limitations. Dogs with thick fur coats can be considered prepared for outdoor living. Cats, on the other hand, should always have indoor access. Provide appropriate access or entry points to your pets throughout your home for quick protection against cold. Most pets take 3-6 weeks before winter to grow natural winter fur coats. Keep it combed and clean. Dirty and damp fur attracts moisture and causes skin problems.
2. Pet Accommodation – Relocate the pets house into a sunny corner of your home. The outdoor dog house must be raised above ground level to prevent water from seeping through the floor. The elevated gap must be framed to stop wind flow from underneath. Instead of rugs which draw moisture, use cedar chips or straw. Home veterinary services can deliver straw at your doorstep. If cold reaches beyond negative 10 degrees, it’s time to bring the pet inside.
3. Increase Food Intake – In winters, increase the amount of food consumed by your pet especially if they are living outside. For every 20 degree fall in the temperature, pets require 15% more calorie intake. Do not use metal bowls as they chill the food. Make sure there’s plenty of fresh warm water to drink and avoid dehydration. Also ensure regular shuffle of meals to provide adequate nutrition. Call mobile veterinary services for a pre-season checkup.
4. Let’s Buy him a Sweater – If you cannot stand on the sidewalk without your coat, how do you expect your dog to do the same? Most dogs and cats need winter wear in order to brace the chilly winds. You don’t have to follow certain fashion guidelines for this like celebrities do. Just a simple warm snugly coat will do the job. Also, coats do not cover feet and ears. So, don’t be out for long.
5. Miscellaneous Tips – wash and dry paws of pet after every walk outside. Remove ice, chemicals and salt and also check for redness between paws or cracks in between pads. Trim long hairs to prevention formation of ice balls and deposition of salt crystals. Don’t bathe excessively since it removes essential body oils and makes them vulnerable to flaky dry skin. Massage paws with petroleum jelly to offer protection against harsh weather elements.
Bonus Tip – Antifreeze in automobiles is major pet health concern. Often found on the garage floor, it is sweet in taste but extremely toxic. Even a small exposure can be fatal. This is the most common pet health emergency experienced by mobile vet service in Toronto. So, take appropriate steps.
Compassion for animals is the most vital ingredient for an owner-pet relationship. Embrace the winter together by taking adequate measures to ensure the safe health of your pet.