Exposure to chilly, cold, and dry weather conditions and snow during the winter season can lead to a wide range of issues in both humans and animals. As a pet owner, you need to understand that outdoor weather can have frightful consequences. Your animal companion could be at risk. Thus, it is important to know how to keep your pet safe during winter.
Pets suffer several discomforts during the winter season. Cold weather can cause flaking, itchy, and chapped paws. It can also cause other health problems in pets. For example, when your pet licks ice-melting substances off their bare paws during a winter walk, it can affect their health. Some of the ways you can keep your pet safe during the winter season include:
Do you own a dog or cat? If you do, you need to understand that certain animals are more susceptible to cold weather than others. For example, young, elderly, thin, or short-coated dogs often get cold quite quickly. Thus, it is important to consider the amount of time they spend outdoors during the cold season.
If your dog enjoys spending lots of time outdoors, you might want to outfit them with a coat or sweater to keep them warm. Frostbite and hypothermia pose serious risks to pets in winter. If the weather is too cold for you, it is probably too cold for your pet as well.
Do you like taking winter walks with your dog? If so, you need to understand that their paws can pick up different kinds of toxic chemicals. These include deicers, antifreeze, and salt. Thus, you should always wipe off their paws when you return home from the walk. This will prevent them from licking such substances and becoming sick.
Coming out of the cold outdoors into a warm home can lead to flaking and/or itchy skin. So, you should towel dry your pet as soon as they come inside and keep your home humidified. You should also pay close attention to their feet, including the areas between their toes.
Just like you, your animal companion prefers comfortable living and sleeping places. Accordingly, you should consider changing their sleeping location based on their needs during the winter season for more warmth.
During the cold season, you should keep your pet indoors. Many people assume that animals are more resilient to cold weather than humans due to their fur. However, this is not always true. Just like people, animals are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite. So during the winter season, you should keep your animal friend indoors as much as possible.
When walking your animal companion, stay away from frozen water, including frozen lakes and ponds. The ice on a frozen pond or lake may not be thick enough to support the weight of your pet. Breaking through the ice could be deadly. Furthermore, it could put your life in jeopardy as well.
The winter season brings risks of power outages, blizzards, and other problems. Thus, you should always prepare for such problems by having an emergency kit or plan that includes your pet.
To learn more about winter pet safety, visit Country Veterinary Clinic, Inc., at our office in Live Oak, California. You can call (530) 491-4500 today to schedule an appointment.