Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
Some pets absolutely love the wintertime because the kids are home all day and guests who come to visit make instant new friends. If you’ve had time to test some of the tasty holiday recipes online, your pets will be dashing in and out of the kitchen to get another heavenly whiff of what you’re cooking. Snow is falling, the fireplace is lit, and the entire family will gather around and give each other presents. Watch your pet as he wags his tail excitedly throughout all of it!
If your pets seem to be having fun this winter season, also be mindful that the changes in the weather may cause them some discomfort that they cannot articulate. We have put together a pet winter care guide so you can be aware of their changing needs this season.
Let your pet stay inside the house.
Icy feet and hypothermia are among the most common pet problems caused by the drop in temperature around these months. We recommend keeping your pets preoccupied indoors so they can avoid getting too cold. After all, you would not want to stay out in the cold yourself. It’s best to cuddle with your cat or dog by the fire inside your house.
If you must go outside, give your pet a protective coat or jacket.
If your pet is used to playing outside or if you don’t have much room to play around inside the house, you can take your pet out for very quick walks. Don’t stay out for more than 30 minutes and make sure you put on a coat or jacket for your pet. Not all dogs or cats were built for the cold, so their fur may not be enough to keep them warm. Don’t worry if it looks a little silly; your pet will thank you for the added warmth and protection in the snow.
Wash your pet’s paws and wipe them completely dry.
Once you get back inside the house, wash your pet’s paws and pat their entire body dry at once. Some pieces of snow or ice may get stuck between their paws or could get tangled with their fur. More importantly, most salts used to clear the roads of ice contain chemicals, such as antifreeze, may be harmful to your pet. Be sure to leave no residue of the outdoor snow once your pets are back inside the house to avoid the occurrence of cracked pads and skin irritation.
Keep your pet well fed and hydrated.
Keeping warm demands more energy from your pets so they may get hungry and thirsty more often. Be extra mindful of their feeding hours and fill their water bowls with fresh and clean water at shorter intervals. If you are using metal bowls for their food and water, you might want to consider switching to plastic containers because your pet’s tongue could freeze and get stuck to the metal.
Don’t feed your pets your excess holiday food because these might contain ingredients that could give them indigestion. Stick to what you know is good for your pet, and keep a watchful eye on them so they don’t leap onto the dinner table.
Be ready to move out of your house if it gets too cold.
If you live in a location where the drops in temperature are drastic, you may be forced to check in a hotel once it gets too cold in your house. In the case of an emergency, such as if your furnace breaks, or if your windows were not weather-stripped in time, you should not hesitate to take your pet with you. Leaving your pet alone in a freezing house is an instant recipe for disaster.
The problem is, not all hotels allow pets to be checked in with you. Contact a professional pet sitter to accommodate your pet until it is warm enough to live in your house again. Pet service professionals like Pet Nanny are available to take your pets in this holiday season. We are licensed and trained to fulfill your pet’s needs, especially throughout the colder months. Give us a call at 734-981-6108 to make a booking or do it all on-line right from our website!