• Karen Tatiana

5 TIPS TO KEEP YOUR PET SAFE AND WARM THIS WINTER

Updated: Dec 21, 2020


Ali

It was 7 am on a Saturday when I woke up and found my cat, Ali, cuddled up on my brother's bed. She had spent the night sleeping in his room. My brother suspected she was cold and wanted to keep warm. But her bed is just as cozy; I made sure of that.


For us people, it's easy. You layer up, drink hot cocoa, and wear fuzzy socks. Can you take similar steps for your pet? As always, I began with my research.


Did you know cold weather can affect your pet's health?


Your pet's fur is not enough to keep them warm. Just like you, your pet can suffer from:

  • Hypothermia

  • Frostbite

  • Toxicity


If you think your pet is experiencing any of these, consult your vet immediately. Read more about Top Cold-Weather Concerns For Pets.


Veterinarians recommend pets to be indoors if the weather is any colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.


However, the best way to prevent any exposure is to take the right steps to keep your pet safe and warm this holiday season.


It starts with these five tips.






1) Bathe your pet as little as possible


Bathing your pet in this weather too often can increase the chances of dry, flaky skin. If your pet happens to get into the peanut butter, a bath is a must. If this is the case, choose an oatmeal shampoo. Oatmeal will hold moisture and can soothe your pet's irritated skin.


Allow your pet to dry thoroughly before heading outdoors!



2) Avoid shaving down


During the winter, your pet's coat is essential to keep them warm. Opt for deshedding long-hair breeds; short-hair breeds will need extra warmth. A sweater with a turtleneck and coverage to the base of their tail and belly is ideal.



3) Invest in booties or paw balm



In WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR DOG'S PAW HEALTH, I stressed the importance of regular paw checks on your dog. But it's important for outdoor cats too. Regular paw checks can prevent infections, discomfort, and contamination, especially on snow days.


Common cold weather irritants include:

  • Ice

  • Antifreeze

  • Rock salts

Antifreeze can be lethal for your pet. Clean your pet's feet, legs, and belly right after outdoor time to prevent discomfort and poisoning.




4) Prepare a warm sleeping area


Create a warm space off the floor and away from drafts. A designated cozy bed and blanket will keep your pet warm.


They may want to curl up near the fireplace or heaters so be aware of their distance. Heated items can also pose a threat to your pet.


  • Heated pads

  • Heated blankets

  • Heated beds

Your pet can overheat or burn themselves.


According to be.chewy.com, if the temperature gets above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, your pet is at risk of overheating.




5) Be aware of your pet's cold-weather tolerance


Cold-weather tolerance is different with every pet. Consider your pet's characteristics and make adjustments accordingly.

  • Breed

  • Age

  • Body fat

  • Lifestyle


For instance, arthritic pets may slip and fall easier, ill pets can have a hard time staying cold, short hair pets will get cold faster.


A good rule of thumb is if it's too cold for you, it too cold for your pet







Keep your pet warm and safe this holiday season with this checklist:



Your pet is not invincible (although one can wish). It's up to you to take the right steps to keep your companion safe and warm this holiday season. Use the checklist if you need to!


Be sure to share this post with your friends and family. Spreading awareness can help keep pets safe and warm this holiday season.



Sources:

Keeping Pets Warm In Winter

Keep Your Pets Safe and Warm This Winter

Cold weather animal safety

Cold Weather Safety Tips

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Karen T. Gonzalez

Cat mom & Blogger

Writing to deepen the relationship between cats and cat parents by educating cat parents about cat care, wellness, and lifestyle.

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