Winter is a challenging time for millions across the country. Snow, ice, frost and blistering cold is common and can make life difficult. Something as simple as going to the grocery store or driving to work can be a massive ordeal.
But in addition to winter being hard on us as humans, it can be just as hard on our pets.We can bundle up, grab a blanket or turn up the heat if we’re cold, but your pet doesn’t have the same luxury. They rely on your help and assistance to keep them warm and protected in the winter.
Thankfully, there are plenty of things you can do to help them. This article is going to go over six different tips to help you properly care for you
Keep them Protected From the Elements
The first thing is to do is think of ways to protect your pet from the elements. Of course, you will want to give them less outdoor time than normal in most cases. Also, when they do go out, it should generally be shorter. Also, consider getting warm clothing or boots for your pet, for that extra layer of protection.
If your pet enjoys spending time outside, even in the blistering cold of winter, be sure to build them an outdoor structure. While it might not be perfect, it will provide them a bit of warmth and shield them from the wind. Be sure to read this blog post from Furry Friends Gear to learn more about choosing the right structure.
Give Them a Cozy Place to Sleep
Another tip is to provide your pet with a cozy place to sleep. With many pets sleeping for well over a dozen hours every day, you want to ensure they are comfortable and warm. While your pet might be content to sleep on the floor during the summer, they may need a little extra for comfort in the winter.
Either get a dedicated bed, or stack up some pillows and blankets to make it plush, warm and comfortable. Also, find the spots they like to sit and hang out, and make sure those are acceptable as well. Pets can’t make a bed like we can, so they have to essentially choose where to sleep based on the options you have provided for them.
Consider Adjusting Their Food Intake
You may also need to consider adjusting the food intake of your pet in the winter as well. The bodies of our pets need to work harder to stay warm in the winter, and thus they will use more energy. To offset this, you may want to feed your pet a little bit more as a result.
However, be sure not to overfeed them. While pets work harder to stay warmer in the winter, many are also less physically active. So if your pet is moving less than in the summer, overfeeding them may not be the right call. It is best to start by feeding them a little more, but if you notice they have been lazier, or simply are gaining weight, consider dropping their food intake back to a normal amount.
Keep Them Away From Areas With Dangerous Heat Levels
Because it is cold, there is a good chance that your pet will be looking for ways to stay warm inside your home. While some might rush for the bed or for a sunny spot, others might have another idea. They might think that the heat coming from your stovetop or your radiator will make a good resting spot.
While we know not to touch those things for warmth as they are dangerous, your pet may not have the same idea. So since they may not have the sense not to hurt themselves in the process of getting warm, you need to help them out. Be sure to cover these surfaces if possible, and always keep an eye out for your pet when these heat sources are on.
Intelligently Schedule Your Walks
While it might be cold out, your pet will still likely want to go on walks. However, it is important that you schedule your walks and outdoor playtime intelligently. You likely want to go for walks at the time of the day when it is warmest, and when the sun is shining.
Also, when you go out, only do it for a short amount of time when compared to walks in the summer. This can keep both you and your pet from getting too cold. You should also aim to walk in places where there isn’t a lot of ice and snow, to make it easier on yourself and your pet.
Be Careful With the Antifreeze and De-icer
Two types of products that are commonly used during the winter are antifreeze and de-icer. They play an incredibly important role in keeping our cars running smoothly in the winter, and keeping our walkways and paths free of ice. However, you need to be careful using these if you have pets.
When it comes to antifreeze, it can actually be toxic to your pets if they ingest it. Antifreeze has a fairly sweet taste, and your pet may attempt to drink it. So be sure to clean up any spills and be sure to keep it out of reach. When it comes to de-icer, it can be harmful if ingested, and can also irritate your pets feet. So always wipe their feet after they have been outside, to ensure there is nothing residual left over.
Hopefully the tips included in this article have been able to help you keep your pets warm and well taken care of this winter.