Protect your Pets from the Winter’s Chill

Winter-Pet-Tips

Dealing with the unpredictable weather changes in Oklahoma is much like riding a roller coaster. As we ride from Fall into Winter, it is important that we prepare our pets for the cooler months ahead.

Your pets bodies react very similar the way human’s bodies do when it’s cold outside. Just as we are prone to Frost Bite and other illnesses that go along with the winter season, as are your furry friends.

What Can you do to Prepare your Pets for Winter?

Bundle Em’ up

To keep warm we wear coats, snow boots and scarves. Your animals should also have a collection of Winter attire. This is especially helpful for your pets that have a short hair coats. If you’re looking for a local boutique to get your little guy a cozy sweater or coat, we recommend stopping by One Lucky Mutt and you might want to check out A1 Pet Emporium, as well. Don’t forget about keeping their paws warm. Try some paw covers (booties) they can help protect your pet’s paws against cuts on sharp, icy surfaces as well as snow build up between the toes.

Limit Cold Weather Exposure

Be sure to acclimate your pets to the cold weather. If your pets don’t reside outside for long periods of time during the warmer months, then don’t expect them to be able to spend extended amounts of time out during the cold months. A pet’s ability to tolerate cold weather varies from pet to pet based on many things: age, activity level, hair coat, health and body fat stores. The cold weather may require you to shorten the lengths of those W-A­-L-K’s and some days you may not even use that word around them.  Pets with thicker hair coats tend to tolerate the cold weather a bit longer than those with short hair but precautions are still needed for both.

Don’t use unsafe Deicers

Although we don’t see much snow or ice here, there are still those times we get the infamous ice storm or heavy snow. Many people will use deicers on their vehicle windshields or sidewalks and driveways. These products can raise the risk of poisoning your pets if their paws and underbellies are not cleaned after being outside or taking walks. Using pet safe deicers on your property will protect your pets and other pets in your neighborhood. Most pet stores carry this but you could also try Safepaw.

Keep Outside Pets Warm

If you have outdoor pets (dog or cat) it is important to give them a warm shelter out of the cold. Ideally, bringing them inside is best but the garage can be yet another option.  If neither of these options are possible, a nice dog house, elevated off of the ground will be sufficient.

Be sure to place straw or wood shavings covered with warm bedding in the doghouse. Be sure the doghouse is of sufficient size for your pet and the bedding adequate to keep them warm. Warming pads placed under blankets are also available for dog houses but consider fire hazards. There are a variety of choices when it comes to choosing the best doghouse for your pets; wood, plastic, insulated and heated. When the temperatures drop to below freezing, sleeping outside without the proper shelter can be deadly.

Check your Car

Because cats also like to keep warm, they have a tendency to climb under the hood of vehicles for shelter. Check underneath your car, honk the horn or bang on the hood of your vehicle before starting the engine.

Provide Proper Nutrition

Let us not forget how important fresh water and nutrition is for the winter months as well. It doesn’t take long for water to freeze during those frigid winter months. Be sure to check the water bowls multiple times a day to break the layer of ice so that they can access their water. Outdoor pets will require more calories in the winter to generate enough body heat and energy to keep them warm. For questions about your pet’s nutrition needs during the winter months, be sure to consult with one of our veterinarians.

The best tip we can give you is to tune into your pets needs during the winter months. If they are showing signs of anxiety, whining, weakness, slow or stiff movement or no movement at all. Contact our office to schedule an appointment immediately.