Just ask Fido and Fluffy, its getting cold . Your pets know it’s getting colder. At our house, my golden retriever Junior now likes to find sunny spots to curl up and dream of his rubber duckie and swimming at summer camp.
( I think he also wants a Latte, and a new Stephen King book to read, but that’s another blog post)
Here in Texas , we think about keeping our pets safe in the Texas heat , but cold weather can also be a risk to our best friends.
Here are some tips for winter weather for your pets:
1) Keep pets inside.
Keep your pets inside during cold weather. While some breeds are more suited for cold weather, dogs and cats should not be left outside in below freezing weather for long periods. Rearrange sleeping areas for cozy warmth and provide additional blankets if necessary.
2) Check paws.( your pets not yours, although you can look at yours too if you feel the need-go for it)
Inspect your dog’s paws frequently for signs of cold-weather injury or damage . Paw pads can crack or bleed from ice accumulation between toes. Wipe down your pet’s feet, legs and belly to remove chemicals that your dog may bring in on his feet. He may bring them in on paws when he walks on ice that has been treated with deicers or other chemicals. When he licks his paws, he may ingest harmful chemicals.
3) Know your pet ‘s cold tolerance.
Pets’ tolerance to cold varies. Observe your pet and know how he or she handles cold weather and develop an individual plan to meet that pet’s needs. Younger pets,older pets,ill pets and puppies and kittens may not tolerate cold weather well.
4) Make noise before you start up that vehicle .
The heat of a warm car or truck may seem like a nice spot for an outside or feral cat. Check underneath your vehicle and make noise before you fire up your car or truck. Look before you start. Honk the horn or bang on the hood before starting the engine to prevent a deadly injury. This may also help you wake up in the morning.
5)Maintain a pet- safe winter environment
Prevent poisoning.Clean up any antifreeze spills quickly. Even small amounts of antifreeze can be deadly to pets.
6) Dress for success. (Ok this one can apply to both of you)
If your pet is bothered by the cold, now is the time to have Fido model his or her latest fashion forward sweater or coat. Dog outer wear should not be allowed to stay on if it is wet, and should fit properly.
7) Collar, chip and ID pets.
Make sure your pet has a well-fitting collar with up-to-date identification and contact information. ( Junior wants me to put his email address and a link to his blog on his tag and microchip ,but that may be a little over-the-top ). Collars and Identification are always important, but in winter snow and ice can hide recognizable scents that could help your pet find his/her way back home. An up to date microchip is a more permanent means of identification.
8) Don’t leave pets alone in a cold car.
Hot cars are a known threat to pets , but cold cars also pose a risk to your pet’s health. A car can rapidly cool down in cold weather. Pets that are young, old, ill, or thin are particularly susceptible to cold and should not be left in cold cars.
9) Provide shelter, food, water.
It’s best to keep pets indoors during cold weather, but If you are unable to keep your dog inside during cold weather, provide a warm, solid shelter against wind and unlimited access to fresh, non-frozen water .
10) Winter Wellness and Health Care
Keep your pet at a healthy weight throughout the winter. Talk to your veterinarian about your pet’s nutritional needs during cold weather. Preventive health care keeps your pet healthy and robust in cold weathers.
Winter can be a great time for you and your pet to enjoy a whole new look to the area. Junior even discovered a snow cave under a Crape Myrtle in our back yard one year.
Let us know other cold weather pet tips you have . Especially those of you who really have cold weather.
One more thing, we just heard you say to yourself ,” Geez, these two sissies in Texas,they don’t know what COLD is. And one is a GOLDEN RETRIEVER.”
OK we admit it…here at the Daily Junior, yes, we are strong Texans. Are there any other kind?
But the secret is out.
COLD SCARES US.
Don’t tell anyone.
The Daily Junior Staff (wearing parkas)
For more information on these and other tips for keeping pets safe and healthy in the winter;
American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). http://www.healthypet.com
Texas And M VetMed http://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/cold-weather-and-your-pet#.VGjYoJK9KSM